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Last updated: Mon. Jun. 25, 2012 - 02:33 pm EDT

American Legion post challenges state smoking ban

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An American Legion post in Ligonier asked for the new statewide smoking ban to be ruled unconstitutional in a lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court.

Post 243 attacked the law for being vague, violating equal protection clauses and violating the state’s freedom of conscience provision in the lawsuit filed on Thursday. It names the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, Indiana State Department of Health and Noble County Prosecutor Steven Clouse as defendants.

The statewide smoking ban, which takes effect Sunday, generally is meant to protect employees from sharing dangerous, smoke-filled air. The law includes an exemption for non-profit private clubs, such as the legion, but it prohibits children from being allowed in the private club’s smoking rooms.

According to the lawsuit, the legion serves food and alcohol to between 25 and 50 people per day. In a typical week there are about 20 children in the post.

The legion requested an order preventing the state from enacting the law. The state department of health and Gov. Mitch Daniels’ office declined to comment on the lawsuit.

For more on this story, read Tuesday’s print edition of The Journal Gazette or return to after 3 a.m. Tuesday.

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