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Fri June 20, 2008
KC Smoking Ban Takes Effect This Weekend
By Elana Gordon
Kansas City, MO – A Jackson County judge has ruled that Kansas City's voter approved smoking ban will take effect tomorrow. It prohibits smoking in all bars and restaurants. It was scheduled to go into effect earlier this month, but a group of local bar and restaurant owners filed a lawsuit against the city. The group's attorney, Jonathan Sternberg, says the ban's exclusion of casino gaming floors is unconstitutional.
Sternberg: The purpose of the ordinance is to protect public health - and all citizens and employees - by prohibiting smoking in all public places and all workplaces. But then it exempts casinos. Well, how's that rationally related to the purpose of protecting all people in all enclosed public places and work places? That doesn't make any sense.
The city argues that voters approved the ban and that it can exclude casino gaming floors because children are never allowed in those areas. The judge overseeing the case ruled today that the city can now enforce the ban while the case is in progress.
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