American Cancer Society, et al. v. Montana

Four Montana cities passed smokefree air laws limiting or prohibiting smoking in buildings open to the public, including those with video gambling machines. In response, the Montana state legislature adopted a law that exempts businesses with video gambling machines from local smoking laws that are more stringent than state law. A variety of public health groups brought a lawsuit against the state arguing that the state law should be declared unconstitutional because it deprives the cities of their right of “self-government.” The court found that the state law did not constitute a prohibition on the power of local governments to enact smokefree air laws, in part because the state law exempts video gaming establishments from the local laws rather than limiting cities’ self-governing powers. As a result the court said the state law does not preempt the local smokefree air ordinances.


American Cancer Society, et al. v. State of Montana, 325 Mont. 70 (Mont. 2004).

  • United States
  • Dec 28, 2004
  • Supreme Court of Montana



  • Alexandra Phillips
  • American Cancer Society
  • American Heart Association
  • American Lung Association of the Northern Rockies
  • Barbara Summers
  • Citizens for a Healthy Helena
  • Citizens for a Smoke Free Bozeman
  • Citizens in Support of Helena's Second-Hand Smoke Ordinance
  • Crystal Bridges
  • David B. King, MD
  • Donna Whitman
  • Edward G. Allen, MD
  • Ernesto Randolfi
  • Helena Health Care Associates
  • Jeri Lou Domme
  • Mark Sanz, MD
  • Montana Medical Association
  • Montana Senior Citizens Association
  • Patrick Cobb, MD
  • Ron Bone
  • Terry Curey
  • United Tobacco Free Coalition

Defendant State of Montana

Legislation Cited

Montana Clean Indoor Air Act of 1979

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