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For NC's smoking ban, legal challenges move ahead

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By MIKE BAKER
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- One year after restaurants began enforcing North Carolina's smoking ban, several small businesses in the state are pushing ahead with a legal challenge that could limit the scope of the law.

A judge in Greenville recently rejected health department violations filed against four establishments there and allowed the businesses to freely host smokers once again. The judge determined that the law improperly exempted fraternal organizations and some private clubs while banning smoking in others.

George Beaman runs three of the Greenville bars impacted by the ruling. He estimates his business was down nearly 40 percent during the months when smoking was banned. Now he says it has picked back up.

Another lawsuit in Greensboro is moving to the Court of Appeals.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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