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News Summary

Smoking bans make way to SC Supreme Court

Publication Date: 2008-01-04
  • Author:MEG KINNARD
  • Publication:Charlotte Observer, NC

The power of cities and towns to ban indoor, public smoking will be called into question before South Carolina's highest court next week, and its decision has the potential to quash smoking bans in effect across the state.

The argument to be heard by the S.C. Supreme Court stems from an appeal by city of Greenville, which had a smoking ban that went into effect a year ago...

Judge John Few ended the ban in March. He ruled such bans are a legislative issue and cited a 1996 state law that he said prevented local governments from creating their own rules on smoking.

Few's ruling contradicted a decision handed down by Judge Deadra Jefferson, who in December 2006 dismissed a similar challenge to a ban in Sullivans Island, saying state law did not dissuade municipalities from regulating smoking.

The Supreme Court hearing, scheduled for Wednesday, will deal only with the Greenville case, but experts said it has the potential to affect smoking bans across the state.

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