Update on Nebraska Cigar Bar Exemption

Here’s an update on yesterday’s story about cigar bar exemptions in Nebraska; from Cigar Aficionado:

    Many lawmakers opposed the original bill, not necessarily for its attempt to exempt cigar bars, but for its vague language. They felt the bill contained loopholes that would allow businesses to stock up on tobacco products to meet the definition of a cigar bar and permit patrons to smoke.
    Since Friday, lawmakers have been fine-tuning details of an amendment that seeks to exempt cigar bars from the ban while tightening the language so other businesses couldn’t easily qualify as cigar bars.
    By day’s end today, the bill being discussed would lower the revenue figure to 10 percent, but this percentage would be derived solely from cigar sales.
    Lawmakers are expected to vote on the bill tomorrow.

Hopefully the amendment gets passed.

The Cigar Bar “Exemption” in Nebraska

It would seem to me that cigar bars are meant to be a place where cigar smokers go to smoke cigars and not places for cigars to go to drink (Confused? Click HERE to read this great satire.). Therefore, it would seem reasonable that anyone who entered a cigar bar, whether for business or pleasure, would know that they will be exposed to that awful second-hand smoke. And yet, anti-smoking crusaders are out to protect, well, who exactly? The illiterate?

Evidently, there are a ton of illiterates in Nebraska because their state’s smoke-Nazis have made it next to impossible to legally operate a cigar bar. For example, according to a new law that is near passing, an establishment would need to realize at least 15% of their revenues from selling cigars. Not cigarettes or other tobacco-related products, mind you, nor can they sell “cigars for $15 with a free steak dinner.” It has to be a “real” 15%. Or, in politician-speak, “YOU’RE BANNED!

Fighting tooth and nail just to keep six cigar bars open in Nebraska – We’re losing the war on smoking

And why is there all of this cigar smoking hate going on in Nebraska? If cigar bars are allowed to survive, praise to the legislature on high, there will be about six cigar bars left in the state. SIX!!!!

This is where we are in this battle. Cigar smokers are incrementally getting their rights rolled back. Taxes on cigars have been raised through S-CHIP, you can’t buy cheap cigar unless they are in a five-pack due to fear of kids using them to create blunts, you can’t smoke inside, you can’t smoke outside, you can’t smoke in your car with your kids (who, presumably, aren’t smoking), and smoking will eventually be outlawed thanks to the smoke-Nazi propaganda gold that is third-hand smoke.

I hope those cigar bars stay open but, in the end, I am becoming more convinced that we are on a road to tobacco prohibition. Thank you nanny-stater ninnies.

Tougher Smoking Restrictions in Dallas

If you live in Dallas and frequent a bar that allows you to smoke your favorite cigar you might need to start looking for a new place to light up. Dallas has passed a new regulation that forbids the smoking of tobacco products in establishments that do not at least get 15% of their gross revenue from tobacco sales meant to be smoked on location.

Dallas’ newly expanded smoking ordinance, which city officials will begin enforcing April 10, will allow smoking in bars only if they generate at least 15 percent of their gross revenue from the “sale or rental of tobacco, tobacco products, smoking implements, or smoking accessories for on-premises consumption.” That percentage had to exist as of last Wednesday.

Cigar bars exempt as Dallas expands smoking ordinance, but not all meet criteria – The Dallas Morning News

Boston Cigar Bars Live On… For Another 10 Years

Boston’s health Nazis voted yesterday to tighten tobacco laws in their grand city. Their new laws further regulate the sale of cigarettes and single cigars (I’m guessing to “protect the children”) but they did throw a bone to cigar smokers:

“We [cigar bar owners] look at it as good news,” said Brandon Salomon, an owner of the Cigar Masters cigar bar. “It gives us 10 years to step back, focus on the fact that we’re a niche market, and work with them [regulators] on that level of understanding.”

Salomon views the new regulations as a good example of city officials and the cigar industry working together to compromise.

“We communicated with them and they listened. They were able to see the human faces behind the businesses they were impacting,” said Salomon.

New Regulations Grandfather Boston Cigar Bars – Cigar Aficionado

Boston Could Outlaw Cigar Bars by Thursday

Boston has a long history of civic disobedience; the Boston Tea Party and Abolitionism being two examples. Boston also has a history for crushing its inhabitants’ rights: the second-class status of the Irish around 1900 and a major crackdown on entertainment deemed uncouth during the mid-twentieth century.

Right now Boston is experiencing a revival of both the rebel and the authoritarian. On the rebel side you have cigar bar owners protesting and writing letters to their mayor, Thomas Menino, pleading with him not to outlaw their businesses. Boston already has outlawed smoking in bars and restaurants and now the have their sights set on outlawing smoking in cigar bars.

On the authoritarian side is the city’s Boston Public Health Commission. They have already preliminarily voted to ban smoking in cigar bars and all they have to do is officially pass the law tomorrow.