Vandaag starten twee organisaties rechszaken tegen het algemene rookverbod voor bars en restaurants in New York.
De aan Forces gelieerde organisatie NYCCLASH beroept zich op de ongrondwettellijkheid van het rookverbod. Alleen de federale staat, niet steden of staten, mag zich bemoeien met zaken rond volksgezondheid, is het uitgangspunt.
De bareigenaren (Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association) baseren hun zaak op het feit dat de nieuwe wet onevenredig veel schade voor de sector oplevert.
The Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association filed suit Tuesday and seeking a temporary injunction. The group wants to delay Thursday’s beginning of the state ban on indoor smoking meant to protect the health of patrons and workers from second-hand smoke.
The association argues the state law can’t supersede federal law, which governs most workplace safety issues. The group also claims the law is unconstitutional because it is “vague” in its deion of a potential but unlikely waiver and even in its definition of a bar.
The NYC CLASH _ Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment _ said it would sue on constitutional grounds.
“They obviously discriminate against smokers, as a class,” said Audrey Silk, the founder of CLASH that plans to file the suit Wednesday. “The people who smoke seem to have been forgotten and this lawsuit is a chance for the people to be heard.”
Some upstate business owners are fighting the new smoking law.
In May and June, 300 or so upstate bar and restaurant owners turned off the State Lottery Division’s Quick Draw machines in protest. The boycott cost the state $265,993 in lost revenue, said a spokeswoman for the lottery, Carolyn Hapeman.
Yesterday, the Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association filed a federal lawsuit in the Northern District of New York to overturn the law. Scott Wexler, the group’s executive director, said the suit argues that the state pre-empts existing federal law protecting workers from secondhand smoke. But in an interview yesterday, Mr. Wexler said he did not expect a court to rule on the matter before tomorrow, when the law takes effect.