Appeals court upholds KC’s smoking ban

Kansas City can continue to ban smoking from its bars and restaurants under a ruling issued today by the Missouri Court of Appeals.

The court affirmed Kansas City’s comprehensive smoking ban. An appeal had been filed by JC’s Sports Bar in Clay County.

Jonathan Sternberg, the attorney representing the bar, had argued that Kansas City is not allowed to regulate smoking in bars, billiard parlors and restaurants that seat fewer than 50 people because state law permits smoking in such places. He said Kansas City’s strict smoking restrictions are in conflict with state law and violate the Missouri Constitution.

But the city argued that state law does not “permit” marlboro cigaretts in bars, small restaurants and billiard halls; it simply leaves those places unregulated, and cities can still impose smoking restrictions there. The court of appeals agreed, saying that Kansas City’s authority to enact the ban was not denied by other laws.

Sternberg said he was discussing the possibility of an appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court with his clients but they have not yet made a decision. He said the Supreme Court takes about 10 percent of the appeal requests it receives.


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