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News Summary

Bremerton's Post 149 says private clubs are legally exempt from last fall's voter-approved statewide measure

Publication Date: 8/2/2006
  • Author:Elaine Helm
  • Publication:Kitsap (WA) Sun

American Legion Post 149 is suing the state and Kitsap County, saying Washington's smoking ban shouldn't apply to private clubs.

Kitsap County ordered the organization May 18 to prohibit smoking at its Kitsap Way location or face prosecution, according to a press release from attorney Shawn Newman, who represents the Bremerton post.

The suit was filed Thursday in Thurston County Superior Court. A hearing is set for Aug. 4.

The lawsuit contends Initiative 901, which voters approved last fall, did not change the Washington Clean Air Act's exemption for private facilities.

The group also argues in its suit that enforcing the ban in private clubs and not other workplaces is unconstitutional.

Hotels, for example, may exempt up to 25 percent of their rooms from the ban, Newman said. But unlike other states with smoking bans, Washington does not exempt private clubs if they have paid employees.