Thursday, September 25, 2003

Smoking ban opponents seek emergency order

The Associated Press

LEXINGTON - A group of bar and restaurant owners Wednesday sought an emergency injunction from the state Court of Appeals to block a citywide smoking ban from taking effect next week.

The appeal by the Lexington-Fayette County Food and Beverage Association came one day after a Fayette County Circuit Court judge refused to issue a temporary injunction postponing the smoking ban.

The ban, to take effect Monday, would prohibit smoking in most public buildings in Kentucky's second-largest city. The ban was approved by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council in July.

John Walters, an attorney for the association, said he was "extremely hopeful" that the appeals court would rule before Monday. No hearing has yet been set on his group's motions, he said.

The association argues that state laws make it impossible for local governments to regulate public smoking. The association also claims the smoking ban infringes on the rights of business owners.

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