Ohio Supreme Court: Local health boards can't ban smoking

Columbus, Ohio-AP -- Ohio's highest court says anti-tobacco activists have good intentions -- but they're not above the law.

The state Supreme Court has ruled that local health boards don't have the authority to ban smoking in all public places. The six-to-one decision says state law limits their power to enact such blanket smoking bans.

The only dissenting justice didn't give his reasons.

The ruling goes against supporters of a total smoking ban in the Toledo area, approved last year by local health officials. The ban prohibited smoking in all indoor public places, including bars and restaurants.

One bar had challenged the ban. A lawyer for the bar had argued the case came down to the rights of owners to run their businesses the way they want to.

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