Judge upholds smoking changes

Published 6:09 pm Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Despite speculation that the Southern AIDS Commission had delivered a death blow to Greenville’s smoking ordinance, a circuit court judge has ruled that the ban still stands.

The Southern AIDS Commission won its lawsuit against the city of Greenville earlier this month, when Judge Richard A. Smith decided that it was unconstitutional to allow smoking in casinos, but not bingo halls.

The city council promptly amended the nine-month-old ban to exempt bingo halls, though the mayor insisted that smoking was still illegal in Greenville’s other public places.

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But some wondered if Smith’s ruling had snuffed out the entire ordinance, since his decision read, the ordinance was unconstitutional.

Smith put those questions to rest when he ruled that the city council’s amendment cured the constitutional infirmity contained in the ordinance as originally adopted.

In his decision, Smith also declared that the smoking ban remains in full force.