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President Trump rattles the Middle East, saying the U.S. will recognize Israel’s authority over the Golan Heights. Also on our Friday rundown: A judge blocks laws limiting the power of the new Wisconsin governor. Plus, momentum builds across party lines to abolish the death penalty.

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Teton County No-Smoking Rule to be Decided by the Courts

June 4, 2009

Jackson Hole, WY – The challenge against a new rule requiring Teton County businesses to be no-smoking zones indoors could soon be decided by the courts. The Teton County Board of Health has been sued by a local bar and the Wyoming Trucking Association, which allege the health board overstepped its authority in passing the rule. The plaintiffs argue the rule violates individual rights and will harm businesses.

But, Jason Mincer, government relations director for the American Cancer Society in Wyoming, says it's a legally solid rule, which is modeled after public health protective actions around the country.

"Other states have utilized the Board of Health to do something similar within a county, and none of them have had problems implementing things this way. We don’t expect to have problems, either.

The research on the dangers of secondhand smoke are also solid, adds Mincer, and no one should have to be exposed to a proven cause of illness.

"Secondhand smoke is a known killer; there’s no way to get around that. The Board of Public Health has a responsibility, just like making sure that refrigerators and freezers are at the correct temperature so food poisoning doesn’t take place."

The rule stays in effect even with the lawsuit. It was enacted after 45 days of public comments overwhelmingly in-favor of making public indoor places smoke-free. No court date has been set.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY