Lexington Smoking Ban Upheld by KY Supreme Court [04/22-6]
Excerpts from: In the heart of tobacco belt, a smoking ban is upheld
A ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and many other public buildings in Lexington, the heart of the burley tobacco belt, was upheld Thursday by the Kentucky Supreme Court.
The court, in a 6-1 ruling, said the city had acted within its authority to "promote and safeguard public health." It also said the ordinance could be enforced immediately.
The local government passed the ordinance in July following a task force study of the health effects of second hand smoke. It had been on hold while a group of bar and restaurant owners sued to block it.
The ordinance drew national attention because of Kentucky's role as a tobacco producer and its reputation as a smoker's state. A third of Kentucky adults smoke, the highest prevalence in the nation, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The court struck down a part of the ordinance banning "smoking paraphernalia" in no-smoking areas. The justices said it was too vague.
Beyond that, the court dismissed opposition arguments that the local government had overstepped its authority and butted into private business.
click here to view the opinion from the Kentucky Supreme Court
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