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Judge turns away challenge to smoking ordinance

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A federal judge has denied a challenge to a smoking ordinance passed last year by the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council.

A group that includes 10 Indianapolis bar owners who are challenging the public smoking restrictions asked the court for an injunction to stop the city from enforcing the ordinance.

The ordinance, signed by Mayor Greg Ballard last April, expanded existing citywide restrictions against indoor public smoking to include bowling alleys, hotel rooms and most bars. Tobacco shops, hookah bars, existing not-for-profit private clubs and downtown's off-track betting parlor are exempt from the law.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young said "there is a rational basis to conclude that the smoking ordinance protects all people — owners, employees and patrons alike — from the harm of secondhand smoke."

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