Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Fred Nelson last Friday morning upheld the State’s statutory smoking ban, passed in November 2006. ( Decision )( Article )
Ohio’s “Smoke Free Workplace Act,” said to be one of the strictest in the country, and the first in the Midwest, prohibits smoking in almost all indoor establishments. Voters, however, rejected a competing proposal that years which would’ve allowed smoking in places like bars, bowling alleys, private clubs, and some restaurants.
Plaintiff’s attorney, Scott Nazzarine, at this point hasn’t decided whether to appeal the case, but was quoted as saying, “the law has gone too far, overregulating private property to the extent that its taking people’s property… It’s just crushing small businesses, neighborhood bars and taverns, especially those in border areas. They’ve got Kentucky right across the river, which doesn’t have a smoking ban.”
Judge Nelson, however, in his decision noted nothing in the U.S. or state constitution recognizes a right to smoke, adding that “a law may be thought ill-advised, paternalistic, and generally obnoxious, and still not be unconstitutional.”
Addition background and details can be found in our April 26th and May 22nd. posts, as well as Judge Nelson’s Entry Denying Motion for Preliminary Injunction from May 2, 2007.