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Bar, Restaurant Owners Demand Injunction on Smoking Ban

A group of frustrated Iowa bar and restaurant owners asked a judge on Friday for an injunction on the state smoking ban until a lawsuit seeking to overturn the ban receives a ruling.

The group argued at the Polk County Courthouse that the smoking ban, which went into effect July 1, not only is hurting business, but also violates their rights and unfairly forces owners to act as police officers for the state.

"In essence, you have a very bizarre statute that brings us here and does much, much more than ban smoking," said George Eichhorn, the group's attorney, in the courthouse, as reported by the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Attorneys for the state contended that objective data of 23 other state smoking bans shows no drop in overall business for bars and restaurants.

The judge is expected to rule as early as next week.

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