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Smoking ban hearing pushed back; Wichita's law stands until at least Aug. 19

Wichita smokers can light up in the bars a little longer.

District Judge Eric Yost pushed back a hearing on whether to extend a temporary restraining order that prevents the statewide indoor smoking ban from going into effect in the city of Wichita.

The hearing was moved from July 15 to August 19, according to a district court official. It’s unclear why, and it’s also unclear which judge will now handle the case.

Yost issued a temporary restraining order June 18 on behalf of three Wichita businesses: Mort’s Cigar Bar, Walt’s Sports Bar, and Phoenician Room and Heat Cigar Bar & Hookah Lounge.

Meanwhile, the statewide smoking ban went into effect everywhere else on July 1. It bans indoor smoking in restaurants, bars, workplaces and other public areas. But it makes exemptions, including tobacco shops and the gaming floors of state-owned casinos. (more…)