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NEVADA SUPREME COURT: Smoking ban foes air challenge

Publication Date: 2009-04-07

Law targeting smoking called vague, unfair

Opponents of Nevada's smoking ban challenged the constitutionality of the 2006 law Monday before the state Supreme Court, arguing that it should be overturned because it is vague and unfairly targets small bars and taverns.

Challengers also said that a district judge should not have upheld the ban during a court fight several years ago. At issue is a ruling by District Judge Douglas Herndon that allowed the enactment of the smoking ban but threw out any criminal penalties people might face.

"This act started with the best intentions. But intentions cannot cure constitutional flaws," said attorney Mark Ferrario, who argued against the ban on behalf of the Nevada Tavern Owners Association.

Challengers are fighting to overturn the law or have the flaws they cite corrected. The Supreme Court will issue its decision within 30 to 90 days.