Cigar Aficionado

Senate Saves California Tobacconists from Smoking Expansion Bill

California's smoking ban will likely be expanding soon, but to the relief of premium cigar retailers, their shops remain safe—for now.

Last Thursday, the Senate voted 25-14 to pass a plan that expands the current workplace prohibition on smoking, but not before exempting retail and wholesale tobacconists, as well as private clubs.

The bill, which was introduced earlier this year, originally sought to ban smoking inside Sunshine State tobacco shops. A strong lobbying effort, though, from the Cigar Association of America, the Cigar Rights of America and the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association helped persuade the Senators to amend the bill and carve out an exemption for tobacconists.

"If the cigar shops sold marijuana and offered gay hot tub marriages, California would subsidize them. With any luck, a giant earthquake will cause California to crack off and sink into the Pacific." —June 10, 2011 10:44 AM