WA Court: Smoking Ban Applies To Private Clubs

OLYMPIA, WA — A sharply divided state Supreme Court says Washington’s smoking ban applies to private clubs that have employees.

In a 5-4 decision, the majority says the law created by Initiative 901 “clearly prohibits” smoking in workplaces — including private clubs.

American Legion Post 149 in Bremerton sued the state and Kitsap County after it was ordered to ban smoking or face prosecution.

The court’s dissent argues that voters never intended to require private clubs to be part of the smoking ban, and the initiative didn’t change the underlying law to include those clubs.

Voters overwhelmingly approved a statewide indoor smoking ban in 2005. It prohibits smoking in bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, and other places.