Nebraska Supreme Court: Smoking In Cigar Bars, Tobacco Outlets Unconstitutional

By: WOWT, The Associated Press Email
By: WOWT, The Associated Press Email

The Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled that an exemption to the Clean Air Act does not line up with Nebraska's constitution.

The lawsuit was filed by Big John's Billiards of Omaha against the state of Nebraska.

Big John's owner, Bill Prout, sued after Nebraska enacted a statewide public smoking ban in 2009. The law bans smoking in all public buildings and private businesses, including bars and restaurants. However, the law provided exceptions for cigar bars, some hotel rooms and tobacco-only retailers.

The supreme court ruled in favor of Big John's Billiards, basically saying that allowing smoking in businesses that sell tobacco products and cigar bars arbitrarily grants "special favors." And those types of "special favors" are unconstitutional.

They concluded that there is no difference between tobacco retail outlets, cigar bars and other public places where smoking is prohibited.

There were four exemptions to the Clean Air Act in total, two of them would still be valid; smoking as part of a health study and smoking inside of a rented guest room.


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