Legislation

Smoking Reinstated in Michigan Cigar Lounges

Mar 19, 2021 | By Thomas Pappalardo
Smoking Reinstated in Michigan Cigar Lounges
(Photo/Rey Del Rio via Getty Images)

Cigar fans of Michigan can now rejoice: next week, they will be permitted to smoke in cigar lounges once again. Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have updated their mandate from last month which will now allow patrons to smoke in cigar lounges effective Monday, March 22.

The update modifies a previous Covid-19 ordinance issued in late February which stated that masks must be worn during all gatherings. Although they could be removed for the consumption of food and drink, masks could not be lowered to smoke a cigar, effectively making a smoking lounge illegal. Those in violation were subject to fines and possible arrest.

According to the “Exceptions to face mask requirements” section of the updated mandate, citizens can now engage “in an activity that requires removal of a mask not listed in another part of this section, and are in a facility that provides ventilation that meets or exceeds 60 [cubic feet of air per minute] of outdoor airflow per person.” In licensed cigar lounges, where efficient ventilation is a necessity, this adjustment now allows patrons to sit at their favorite lounge and light up without breaking the law.

This decision was made after data was presented to the MDHHS through several meetings with the Premium Cigar Association and the Michigan Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association, along with Michigan Senators Aric Nesbitt, Wayne Schmidt and Curt VanderWall.

“Thanks to the Michigan cigar community for speaking up, and thanks to [health department] director Elizabeth Hertel for taking time to learn about our investment in ventilation equipment,” Andy Hyde, co-owner of Nolan’s Cigar Bar in Traverse City and president of the MPCPRA said in a statement.

“The collaborative work between the Premium Cigar Association and Michigan Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association was instrumental in achieving this victory,” said Josh Habursky, head of government affairs for the PCA. “We will build off this momentum as we work to preserve the tax cap in the coming months.”

A hearing is also scheduled to take place on Wednesday, March 24 between the PCA, the MPCPRA and the House Tax Policy Committee to preserve the 50-cent cap on Michigan’s state tobacco tax, which will expire in October.

More in Legislation

See all
Federal Judge Issues Opinion In Favor Of Cigar Industry

Federal Judge Issues Opinion In Favor Of Cigar Industry

The premium cigar industry received good news today as Judge Amit P. Mehta issued his opinion on the …

Jul 5, 2022
Federal Judge Hears Cigar Industry Case Against FDA Regulations

Federal Judge Hears Cigar Industry Case Against FDA Regulations

Judge Amit P. Mehta heard arguments in the lawsuit pitting the U.S. Food & Drug Administration …

May 23, 2022
Delaware Bill For Lower Taxes On Premium Cigars Passes House Committee

Delaware Bill For Lower Taxes On Premium Cigars Passes House Committee

Cigar smokers in “The First State” may be getting a tax break in the future.

Apr 14, 2022
Miami Judge Rules Cruise Companies Liable For Using Cuban Port Facilities

Miami Judge Rules Cruise Companies Liable For Using Cuban Port Facilities

Judge Beth Bloom wrote that the cruise ship companies had engaged in “trafficking activities” by …

Mar 24, 2022
FDA-Funded Scientific Study on Premium Cigars Released

FDA-Funded Scientific Study on Premium Cigars Released

The findings indicate that the risks associated with other tobacco products are different from those …

Mar 11, 2022
Florida Legislature Passes Bill Targeting Beach and Park Smoking—But Spares Cigars

Florida Legislature Passes Bill Targeting Beach and Park Smoking—But Spares Cigars

Smoking on Florida's beaches and parks is under attack from legislation, but lawmakers are sparing …

Mar 3, 2022