Smoking ban hearing to be scheduled later

August 16, 1994

A Talbot County Circuit Court judge will wait until October before scheduling a hearing on the legality of Maryland's proposed workplace smoking ban.

Judge William S. Horne has decided to hold a scheduling conference Oct. 3, when he will meet with state lawyers who are pushing for the ban and with attorneys for tobacco companies and other businesses that oppose it.

After the conference, a hearing date will be set.

The proposed regulation, the toughest of its kind in the nation, would prohibit smoking in almost all indoor workplaces, including restaurants, bars and hotels. Last week, Judge Horne granted an injunction preventing the state from putting the ban into effect until he decides whether the regulation is legal.

State lawyers are appealing that injunction to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. In a motion filed yesterday, they argue that the judge paid too little attention to the health concerns of people harmed by secondhand smoke while favoring the economic interests of businesses that argue they would suffer under the regulation.

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