Smoking ban fines can be opposed

SmokingStatewide bar owners association for recovering fines imposed from the statewide smoking ban plans to file a class action lawsuit citing a Franklin County Common Pleas Court ruling in its favor.

The Ohio Licensed Beverage Association on Thursday at a press conference said fines that taverns and bars in state are forced to pay as a result of people smoking illegally in their establishments has been annulled by a recently filed court ruling.

Franklin County Common Pleas Court by Judge David Cain on February 19 in a court decision found that the state was enforcing the law that was unfair by every time fining bar owners $5,000 if an individual was caught smoking.

According to the court’s decision, “Placing the onus of enforcing the Smoke-Free (Workplace) Act against individuals completely on property owners is ludicrous and defies basic notions of fairness. Property owners have no control over whether someone rips out a cigarette and lights up.”

Center figures stated that more than $1.2 million in fines have been levied on bars and businesses and Ohio Department of Health collected about $400,000.