Legal smoking could return to Nebraska's cigar bars and shops as early as March after the state's legislature recently approved a bill that reinstates the smoking ban exemptions those establishments once operated under.
Last Friday, Nebraska lawmakers voted 45-3 in favor of LB 118, a bill that amends the state Clean Indoor Air Act that was passed in 2008 and took effect in 2009. The bill includes language that would carve out an exemption status for cigar bars and shops so that smoking would, once again, be legal inside such businesses.
All that is needed for the bill to become law is the signature of Governor Pete Ricketts, who has been traveling.
Should Ricketts sign the bill as expected, it would go into effect immediately because there is an emergency clause written into it. The state's Liquor Control Commission has stated it is prepared to receive and process cigar shop endorsements and could turn applications around as quickly as the beginning of March.