Bar owners to protest state smoking ban

(07/22/03) YONKERS - Westchester bar and restaurant owners have claimed that the countywide smoking has hurt business. In just two days, the statewide ban goes into effect and many owners say they will protest.

The statewide ban goes into effect on July 24 and to show their disapproval bar owners say they will turn off or remove Quick Draw lottery machines. Al Defeo of Yonkers says targeting lottery funds will convince state lawmakers the ban has a price. The state uses the machines to generate money for education, and the last time owners staged a protest the state lost more than $1 million in sales.

Meanwhile, The Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association, and Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment have filed lawsuits seeking a temporary injunction against the ban. The groups claim the ban is unconstitutional.

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