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High-Profile NYC Clubs Could Lose Licenses Over Smoking

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The New York City Health Department is taking steps to strip five of the city's trendiest nightclubs of their food and beverage licenses after an undercover investigation found flagrant violations of New York's indoor-smoking ban.

The New York Daily News reported Jan. 27 that the owners of TheBox on the lower East Side, the M2 Ultra Lounge in Chelsea, The Imperial in the Flatiron District, Southside Night Club in Little Italy, and Lit Lounge in the East Village have been hauled before a city tribunal as part of a crackdown on clubs that flout the smoking ban.

“We looked at our data and felt like these businesses continue to flaunt that they break the law,” said Daniel Kass, the city's acting deputy commissioner for environmental health. “They pay fines as a cost of doing business. We needed a new approach.”

The law calls for fines of $200 to $2,000 for violations, but establishments that exhibit “willful and continuous disregard” for the ban can lose their city permits.

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