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Clubs, bingo parlors challenge Kansas smoking ban

Publication Date: 6/21/2010
  • Author:JOHN HANNA
  • Publication:Associated Press

Four Wichita-area business operators have gone to court to prevent Kansas from banning smoking in many public places, partly because its new law contains an exemption for state-owned casinos.

Their attorney said Monday that the law is unconstitutional because it treats similar businesses differently. Starting July 1, smoking will be banned in most public places, including bars and restaurants, and in some private clubs, though not all of them.

Critics have pointed out repeatedly that smoking still will be allowed in the gambling areas of up to four new casinos to be built and operated by private developers for the Kansas Lottery. Smoking will be banned in bingo parlors.

The Wichita-area businesses argue the law restricts customers' right to associate with whom they choose and denies the businesses equal protection of the law, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment. They want a judge to intervene and block the law's enforcement.