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News Summary

Judge temporarily expands state smoking ban

Publication Date: 2005-03-31
  • Publication:Providence Journal
A Superior Court judge temporarily expanded the new statewide smoking ban today to almost all public facilities, but left in place the exemption for the Lincoln Park and Newport Grand gambling operations.

The ruling represents a major victory for bar and restaurant owners who had been calling for a level playing field when it comes to the application of the ban.

Acting on a request for a temporary restraining order against the ban, Judge Stephen J. Fortunato Jr. ruled that temporary exemptions provided to Class C and D establishments were unconstitutional because he could find no reason to exempt them while other, like facilities had to abide by the ban...

The judge also noted that the law establishing the ban allows him to find one part of the law unconstitutional and not another.

Fortunato made his decision after a hearing lasting about two hours today. His temporary expansion of the ban will stay in place until at least April 11, when he has scheduled another hearing on the matter.