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Published: Friday, 2/15/2008

Dann asks court to review smoking ban in private clubs


COLUMBUS - Ohio's top lawyer is asking the state's highest court to reconsider an effective ban on smoking in private clubs.

The Ohio Supreme Court must decide whether it will take up the question of whether VFW halls, American Legion posts, and other fraternal clubs should be exempted from the statewide smoking ban passed in November, 2006.

Attorney General Marc Dann seeks to reverse a December decision by the 10th District Court of Appeals that had the effect of banning smoking at the private clubs. Mr. Dann argues in his request submitted yesterday that the smoking ban that voters approved included an exemption for the clubs.

The ballot initiative, which was approved by 58 percent of Ohio voters, contained language exempting private clubs but also held that places of employment must be smoke-free.

Two judges have ruled that Health Department rules exempting the private clubs conflict with the smoke-free workplace requirement, because private clubs have employees.

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