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Indiana appeals court upholds Evansville smoking ban

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Court of Appeals says a smoking ban in Evansville can remain in effect.

The court issued the 16-page ruling Friday, rejecting arguments by local bars and fraternal organizations that the ban is unconstitutional because it doesn’t treat them the same as a local Ohio River casino where smoking is allowed and it endangers the right of free association.

The ordinance bans smoking inside bars, taverns and private clubs with the exception of Casino Aztar.

The judges say Casino Aztar is different because it has a $500,000 ventilation system to deal with secondhand smoke and most of its patrons come from outside Evansville. They also say that banning smoking doesn’t keep people from gathering.

A local judge last year refused to block the ban despite bars’ concerns about business.