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News Summary

Judge throws out anti-smoking lawsuit

Publication Date: 2007-04-11
  • Publication: Pacific Business News (Honolulu)

A judge on Wednesday threw out the lawsuit filed by bar owners who challenged the state's new anti-smoking law.

The Hawaii Bar Owners Association filed the lawsuit in 1st Circuit Court in January claiming the anti-smoking law was unconstitutional. The group argued that the state Department of Health had no legal right to ban smoking in bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

Judge Sabrina McKenna threw out the lawsuit and noted that none of the bar owners had actually been cited for violating it. The law took effect last November and bans smoking in most public places of employment and within 20 feet of doorways.

The dismissal of the lawsuit is another blow to the efforts of bar owners and their supporters who have lobbied hard against a law they say is hurting their businesses.

The Senate majority voted down a floor amendment on Tuesday to House Bill 1018 that would have added language to establish a new class of liquor license for bars, enabling them to allow smoking.