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Mass. Governor Rejects Cigar Bar Preservation Measure

Andrew Nagy
Posted: July 13, 2011

A provision attached to the Massachusetts state budget that sought to protect cigar bars from being closed or unfairly restricted by local health boards was vetoed by Gov. Deval Patrick on Monday.

"I am vetoing this section because it prevents local officials from protecting the public health of their citizens," wrote Patrick in his veto letter.

The budget amendment, sponsored by Democrat Rep. Aaron Michlewitz (a sister bill was sponsored by Sen. Anthony Petruccelli), would have protected cigar bars in cities of 150,000 or more people, such as Boston, if it passed.

"The great thing about this country is that you can choose where you go and what you do and how you live your life,'' said Brandon Salomon, the owner of Cigar Masters in Boston, in a Boston Globe report. "If they do this, they should eliminate cars and McDonald's and all sorts of other things they say are bad for you.''

Three years ago, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, in a controversial move, used the jurisdiction of the Public Health Commission to order all cigar bars to close by 2018. July 13, 2011 8:22pm ET
Land of the free my ass
John Gersic Frisco, Texas, USA, July 13, 2011 8:33pm ET
I am still at a loss as to why no one has made two arguments.
1) working at the establishment is voluntary. The employees accept the risk of whatever the activity in order to be compensated. I do not see construction work being cancelled because of the risk of a working falling off a bridge or the roof of a house.

2) The constitutionality of bans. IE, if the area is privately owned, wouldn't this possibly fall under the forth amendment? Doesn't this basically constitute an illegal seizure of the property? IE - I cannot use it as I would like, therefore I am loosing use of the property.

Personally I am really starting to believe this country has seen its best days. No one wants to accept responsibility for their own actions but would rather have government coddle them and in turn dictate what 'is best' for them, what is happening to this country?
vpvalentino July 15, 2011 5:02pm ET
This is because the people have allowed the goverment to much power. Thomas Jefferson always told us that we must fear the Goverment. Goverments kill more people than cigars!!! We must take back our goverment. The people of Massachusetts wake up and do not re-elect this communist!!! He will come into your house next and tell you what to do!!! It can be done. Look at the Tea Party Movement. People stand up now or you will be forever sorry.
Steven Sarnowski Escanaba, MI, US, July 18, 2011 4:53am ET
instead of representing for the people and this once great Nation we once stood for we're now led by Self Righteous, Pompous, Self Serving Idiots who think the Government needs to rule all walks of Americans life. Choice & Freedom are slowly being stripped away from a Government that has only over reached and abused it powers...

Terry Garr Marietta, GA, America, July 18, 2011 5:12pm ET
The State of Massachusetts is screwed up. We have no rights as cigar smokers. I worked in Boston for 2 years and my wife and I lived in southern New Hampshire to try to avoid this type of backward thinking.
David Wallace Dubai, United Arab Emirates, July 19, 2011 6:27am ET
As a Scotsman, I have looked at the U.S. with a sense of wonderment and respect, especially where the rights of the individual and free speech are concerned, but I'm starting to wonder if the U.S. Lawmakers haven't been looking at the U.K.'s 'Nanny-state' philosophies a little too much.

I hope that some light and sense is seen here and the rights of the humble (?) cigar smoker are protected.

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