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Court hears Cape Cod smoking case

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Jim Smith

BROCKTON, Mass. — The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, sitting in Brockton Tuesday, heard the case of the Windjammer Lounge versus the Barnstable Board of Health. At issue is the smoking ban in all bars and restaurants in Barnstable which went into effect on April 3.

The decision by the SJC, which is expected by the end of the year, will have statewide implications for smoking bans already in effect in 122 towns and cities and is being closely watched by owners of Irish pubs throughout Cape Cod, where bar business, they say, has dropped 50 percent since smoking bans were enacted earlier this year.

The lawyer for the Windjammer, Edward Kirk, argued Tuesday that the Massachusetts legislature had already enacted statewide standards regarding non-smoking sections in eating and drinking establishments and that the Barnstable Board of Health exceeded its authority by imposing an ban.

Town of Barnstable Attorney Robert Smith argued that the legislature set minimum standards only, and did not intend to prevent local boards of health from enacting stricter prohibitions.

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