No Constitutional Right to Smoke, Kansas Court Rules

Smoking is not a fundamental right, the Kansas Supreme Court said in upholding the state’s indoor-smoking ban, the Kansan reported March 6.

The court rejected a challenge to the law filed by an American Legion post and a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Newton, Kansas, which argued that the 2007 ban violated the 4th and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution — the rights to privacy and due process, respectively.

“Plaintiffs’ argument is apparently based on the simplistic notion that a private organization with a private clubhouse has a constitutional right to privacy,” the court said. “Upon the merits of the argument, the city pointed out that a right to privacy action requires the existence of a fundamental privacy interest and that no court, to date, had recognized the smoking of tobacco as a fundamental right.”

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