Once again it's legal to open a new cigar bar in Indiana.
On Thursday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed Senate Bill 463, a new law that amends the state's Clean Indoor Air Act, which went into effect in 2012, by removing the moratorium on the establishment of new cigar bars as long as the business conforms to the following rules:
- No persons under the age of 21 will be allowed entry.
- The owner of the business holds a wine, beer or liquor retailer's permit.
- The business limits patrons to cigar smoking only.
- At least 10 percent of sales is from cigars or the rental of on-site humidors.
- Signs are posted explaining that cigarettes and e-cigarettes are not permitted.
Additionally, the new law permits retail tobacco shops to serve food and beverages as long as the items don't require a food handler's certificate.
According to the Cigar Association of America, the national trade organization of cigar manufacturers, importers and distributors as well as major suppliers to the industry, the association was approached by Rep. Edward Clere of District 72. Clere sought to help a constituent of his who wanted to open a new cigar bar, but could not legally do so. Working with the CAA, Clere, a sponsor of SB 463, revised the final language of the bill in the final few weeks of the 2015 Indiana legislative session.