Alamogordo man cited 15 times for smoking ban violations

Staff Report

The Associated Press

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) - An Alamogordo restaurant and bar owner has pleaded not guilty to more than a dozen charges of violating the state's new smoking ban.

And Henry Smith vows to continue letting his customers light up.

Smith was cited more than a dozen times earlier this month for violating the smoking ban in his restaurant.

The ban took effect in June and prohibits smoking in bars, restaurants, stores and most other indoor workplaces.

Smith appeared in Magistrate Court yesterday and entered his plea.

He says he has no space where smoking is not permitted at his business, and that it's his choice to do so.

He argued that the smoking ban is confusing and self-contradicting and that Otero County Sheriff's Deputies don't even understand it.