Ohio sues 2 bars over smoking ban

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio has filed its first lawsuits over violations of the state's smoking ban, accusing two bars of repeatedly ignoring the law.

Attorney General Richard Cordray said Friday that O'Neal's Tavern in Cincinnati has been cited for 12 violations and fined $21,000. Zeno's in Columbus has been cited for nine violations and fined $28,000. The separate complaints seek a court order requiring the bars to comply with the smoking ban, which voters approved in 2006. Enforcement began May 3, 2007.

Cordray said the two establishments have shown that fines and warnings won't deter them. An attorney representing Zeno's, Maurice Thompson of the conservative Buckeye Institute, says the state isn't properly enforcing the smoking ban and is holding bars responsible after they do everything in their power to deter smoking.

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