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Restraining order delays state smoking ban in Wichita

Publication Date: 2010-06-26
  • Publication:The Wichita Eagle

A Sedgwick County judge on Friday issued a temporary restraining order that will prevent a statewide indoor smoking ban from going into effect next week in the city of Wichita.

District Judge Eric Yost issued the order, which will allow Wichita businesses to continue operating under the city's smoking ordinance at least until July 15.

"To make a long story short, the state law will not be enforced in the city of Wichita on July 1," said Harry Najim, who sought the restraining order on behalf of three Wichita businesses--Mort's Cigar Bar, Walt's Sports Bar, and Phoenician Room and Heat Cigar Bar & Hookah Lounge.

The injunction has no effect on businesses outside the Wichita city limits. In his order, Yost scheduled a July 15 hearing to determine whether the temporary restraining order should be extended.

Najim argued in his motion for the restraining order that the city's smoking ordinance is more stringent than the broader state law, which goes into effect Thursday.

In his filing, Najim cited a portion of the state law that says, "Nothing in this act shall prevent any city or county from regulating smoking within its boundaries, so long as such regulation is at least as stringent as that imposed by this act.

"In such cases the more stringent local regulation shall control to the extent of any inconsistency."