In a 13 page opinion, a Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge ruled that the Ohio Department of Health did not have the authority to exempt private clubs from the smoking ban. A group of bar and restaurant owners wanted the exemption stopped because it gives private clubs an unfair advantage. The judge found that an exemption for private clubs would violate the intent of the ban to protect employees from second hand smoke. The judge's opinion stated that there was never actually a private club exemption in the SmokeFree Act, just an apparition of one. See Judge Rules No Smoking in Private Clubs by Julie Carr Smyth, Associated Press, via Ohio News Now, May 17, 2007.
The case is: Ohio Licensed Beverage Assn. v. Ohio Dept. Health, Franklin County Common Pleas Case No. 07-CV-005103. The docket can be viewed at Franklin County Case Information Online.
See our prior post: Private Clubs Must Temporarily Enforce Smoking Ban
Posted by Sue Altmeyer