A California senate
committee voted on Wednesday to pass a bill that expands the prohibition
on workplace smoking to include retail tobacco shops.
The Senate's Labor and Industrial Relations Committee voted 5-2 to refer Bill 575 to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill, as passed, eliminates most of the specified exemptions, like the one that allows for legal smoking in retail tobacco shops, written into the current workplace smoking ban.
California's tobacconists unsurprisingly oppose the bill, and the Cigar Rights of America has called the legislation "an assault on small business."
The Cigar Rights of America has been fighting the legislation since it was introduced in February by Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, urging both members and non-members to sign an online petition.
Visit www.cigarrights.org/petition_California001.php to sign up.
For more on this story, see the next issue of Cigar Insider, out April 19.