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Smoking no longer allowed at Utah bars

Publication Date: 2009-01-01
  • Author:Brock Vergakis, AP
  • Publication:Daily Herald

Smoking in Utah's bars has been outlawed as of midnight last night, as thousands of revelers celebrated the new year with their last drags on a cigarette or their first breaths of smoke-free air in a private club.

The measure is intended to protect bar employees and customers from second-hand smoke, which can cause cancer.

Lawmakers passed a law banning smoking in private clubs and taverns in 2006, but it only applied to newly licensed clubs.

As of today, all bars must be smoke-free. Similar bans have been in effect in New York, California and in other states and countries for years.

Under the new law, anyone caught smoking in a bar could face a $100 fine for the first offense and up to a $500 fine for a second offense. The state health department says bars can also be fined up to $5,000 for allowing smoking.