Omaha Business Still Smoking

An Omaha bar owner breaking the law says he's doing it on purpose. Bill Prout, owner of Big John's Billiards, has requested a waiver from the Nebraska law that prohibits smoking in public places. So far, court action hasn't worked in his favor, but he isn't giving up.

They are doing more than playing pool at Big John’s Billiards near 98th and M streets. The owner is actually taking a stand against a law he says is unfair.

It’s written all over the front of the building, they allow smoking inside despite a state law that says they can’t. Big John’s has been in a court fight for years trying to be exempt from the law. The owner says they expect to be cited for non-compliance and they hope it will bring attention to this issue.

On the other side, Mark Welsch an anti-smoking advocate, says Big John’s is just breaking the law.

Big John’s is located across the street from a police assembly point. It expects a visit as soon as Friday from Douglas County health officials. If cited, Big John’s also plan to fight that in court. It has allowed smoking for the past two weeks.

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