Phoenix business owners who fought the state’s smoking ban have agreed to a $10,000 settlement.
The voter-approved Smoke-Free Arizona Act, that went into effect last May, requires operators of bars, restaurants and indoor public places to prohibit smoking, to post “No Smoking” signs, remove ashtrays from areas where smoking is prohibited and stop people who are smoking in prohibited areas.
Last May, health department inspectors saw patrons in four restaurants, Metro Sportz Bar and Restaurant, Boomerang Bar and Billiards, River City Pockets and the Maverick Saloon, smoking in violation of the act. To circumvent the ban, restaurateurs Alfonso Larriva and Alfonso Ruiz had installed vents so that they would not fall under the enclosed category. The co-defendants settled with the city to pay the fines and will notify their employees to enforce the smoking ban.
Arizona Department of Health Services Director Susan Gerard said it’s a victory for employees and customers “who no longer have to involuntarily breathe someone else’s toxic smoke.”
“This settlement is a signal to everyone that we will continue to vigorously enforce the act, and any operators who continue to allow smoking indoors will face similar enforcement efforts,” Attorney General Terry Goddard said in a prepared statement.