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News Summary

Still no exemptions to smoking ban

Publication Date: 4/12/2005
  • Author:SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
  • Publication:Providence (RI) Journal-Bulletin
A judge's order temporarily prohibiting smoking in small bars and private clubs with class C and D liquor licenses will continue as lawmakers tackle the issue.

On March 31, Superior Court Judge Stephen J. Fortunato Jr. ruled that exemptions in the state's new smoking ban for the class C and D establishments were unconstitutional and ordered smoking there to be prohibited until a more detailed hearing on the matter.

That hearing was supposed to happen yesterday, but lawyers for the state and a group of bars and restaurants suing the state have agreed to postpone it until May 2. The move gives the General Assembly time to debate permanently banning smoking at those bars and clubs.