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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS - Central Suburban

Truck stop gets waiver from state smoking ban

Jim's Truck Plaza of Cheektowaga, which has been catering to the trucking industry for the last five decades, has become the 17th Erie County business granted a waiver of the state's indoor-smoking ban, county officials confirmed Thursday.

After an extensive review of the operation at 2125 Walden, which never closes and seats 283 diners, Dr. Anthony J. Billittier IV, county health commissioner, granted it a two-year waiver.

Nicholas P. Amigone III, attorney for the plaza, said convincing evidence was submitted that the plaza incurred "a precipitous decline in gross revenues" because of the smoking ban.

"We also demonstrated to the health commissioner that our client's competition in Pembroke and Erie, Pa., allowed smoking in their restaurants and that national statistics show about 73 percent of over-the-road truckers smoke," he said.

White Arrow, which runs the plaza, has made all the modifications that the health commissioner sought and now has a separate, enclosed smoking room, Amigone said.

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