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NY Restaurant and Bar Owners File Suit to Prevent Smoking Ban from Taking Effect

By Eric J. Felsberg
  • July 22, 2003

According to published reports, the Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association has filed a lawsuit to prevent the statewide ban on smoking from taking effect as scheduled on July 24, 2003. Association members argue the ban violates the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act and requires the permission of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration before the state can amend standing federal regulations. New York State lawmakers had cited the dangers of secondhand smoke to employees as the reason for the ban.

Calling for a temporary injunction, the trade group is seeking to suspend the smoking ban which would apply virtually to all restaurants, bars, and other public eating and drinking establishments, while its lawsuit proceeds. If the group is successful in halting the statewide ban, it may then attack a similar ban effective in the five boroughs of New York City. A similar Nassau County Long Island ordinance also has been suspended by a temporary injunction.

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