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Pa. court rules against Allegheny County smoking ban

Publication Date: 5/22/2007
  • Author:AP
  • Publication:Carlisle Sentinel, PA

Allegheny County doesn't have the authority to enact a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday.

Two restaurants had challenged the smoking ban, which took effect Jan. 2 for indoor workplaces.

A county judge had delayed the implementation of the law in bars and restaurants, and Commonwealth Court on Tuesday said that a permanent injunction should be issued to stop the ban from ever taking effect.

The owners of the Smithfield Cafe and Mitchell's Restaurant argued that the state's 1988 Clean Indoor Air Act pre-empts the county from restricting indoor smoking. They also claimed the ban would cause irreparable harm to their businesses and contains unfair loopholes for small bars.

Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer, who wrote the Commonwealth Court opinion, agreed with the restaurants that the General Assembly specified that the act pre-empted local legislation.