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    Snub Those Cigarettes in Vegas

    Judge rules that voter-approved smoking ban will take effect.

    LAS VEGAS -- Clark County District Court Judge Douglas Herndon ruled yesterday that the smoking ban approved by voters in November will go into effect without criminal penalties, the Associated Press reported.

    The judge distinguished between criminal enforcement by police and civil enforcement by health inspectors, but did not issue an injunction preventing individual smokers from being punished, the report stated. If caught smoking, citizens will receive a $100 ticket from health inspectors, not police, the report stated.

    Herndon issued a preliminary injunction for the part of the ban that will make smoking illegal in bars and restaurants, in slot machine sections of grocery and convenience stores, video arcades, shopping malls, schools and day-care centers.

    A lawyer for the Southern Nevada Health District told the AP enforcement would follow after a review of the complex decision.

    "We're going to enforce by education first," district lawyer Stephen Minagil said.

    The ruling is anticipated to have a statewide effect, inclusive of the businesses that challenged the voter-approved proposal in Southern Nevada and achieved a temporary restraining order a day before it was scheduled to go into effect.

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