Protect Local Control

Ensuring Community Rights
To Pass Smokefree Ordinances

News Summary

Ban on smoking needs to be upheld

Publication Date: 2005-03-23
  • Author:Editorial
  • Publication:Poughkeepsie (NY) Journal
The federal courts were correct to snuff out claims by tavern owners that challenged a statewide smoking ban.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Lawrence Kahn affected how counties distribute waivers to the ban. Opponents wanted the bill to say waivers ''shall,'' rather than ''may'' be granted. Thankfully, the judge upheld the law as written. The county needs to have discretion and control over their operations, which is why the word ''may,'' as opposed to ''shall,'' is so important. If counties were forced to grant waivers to all owners who proved a 15 percent decrease in revenue, it would seriously undermine the effectiveness of the smoking ban. Paperwork could be altered and policing the exceptions would be so cumbersome it would not be manageable.