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News Summary

Smoking ban challenged in federal court

Publication Date: 2/27/2005
  • Author:James V. Franco
  • Publication:Troy (NY) Record

Nearly two years after the state enacted the nation's strictest smoking ban, a pro-smoking group is still battling to get it overturned, this time in federal court.

The Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association argued last week the ban is unconstitutional and should be overturned because the state does not give counties clear enough guidelines to grant waivers and claims the ban is duplicative because clean air standards are already set by federal law.

The state gave county health departments the power to grant waivers if business owners could prove the smoking ban caused them an undue financial hardship. . . .

U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Kahn could rule within the next two weeks.