Good News Bad News

January 15, 2015

In Nebraska, it was thought that smoking in the state’s cigar bars would end with the dawn of the New Year.  Last year, that state’s supreme court ruled that the exemption for cigar bars to the state’s non-smoking law was not legal.  That meant that all the cigar bars would have to ban smoking beginning this year.  Well red tape seems to be our friend.

“A bunch of steps in the administrative procedures act has to be taken in order to implement this matter,” Nebraska Liquor Control Commission chairman Bob Batt said.

“Anytime you get anything affecting the status of your license, it would stand to reason that you are given the opportunity for an appeal process,” Safari Cigars and Lounge attorney Bill McGinn said. “We’re assuming that’s what will happen here.”

In the meantime, supporters of the cigar bars are introducing new legislation to allow them to stay open.

State Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill submitted a bill Friday that would restore smoking in cigar bars and tobacco shops.

Let’s hope the legislature moves quickly on this.

Meanwhile, in New Orleans let’s hope thing go slowly.  The city council there is getting ready to vote on a smoking ban for the city.  There is opposition but last week a committee voted 3-2 to proceed.  According to reports the ordinance may have enough support to pass.  That would be a major bummer for the IPCPR that is planning on holding its trade show in the Crescent City this summer.

Cantrell’s ordinance would make it illegal to smoke, with a few exceptions, in all enclosed public spaces, private clubs, correctional facilities and school buildings in the city. Smoking also would be prohibited in parks during public events sponsored by the city and outdoors within 25 feet of public property and within 5 feet of commercial buildings.

Cantrell revised her original ordinance to remove a prohibition on smoking at all public events and in the common areas of apartment buildings, retirement homes and nursing facilities.

The ordinance that will go before the council also includes a provision that would grandfather in existing cigar and hookah bars — businesses with the sole purpose of selling smoking devices and providing a place for them to be used.

It could make it a very unfriendly venue for the trade show.


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