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Federal judge upholds Colorado smoking ban

[JURIST] US District Judge Lewis Babcock upheld Colorado's ban on smoking in indoor public places Friday, despite allegations that it discriminates in favor of casinos at the expense of bar owners. Babcock dismissed a suit challenging the constitutionality of the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act [PDF], which since July 1 has banned smoking indoors in public, with the exception [SmokeFreeColorado backgrounder] of casinos and a few other specified locations. The suit was brought by the Denver-based Coalition for Equal Rights [group website], which in June sought an injunction [press release] against the act.

In dismissing the lawsuit, Babcock noted that the legislation is not rendered unconstitutional [Denver Post report] simply because casinos will not face the same hardships as bar owners, pointing to casinos' "unique constitutional and statutory status in Colorado." Attorneys for the plaintiffs have not decided if they will appeal. AP has more.

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