Cigar Aficionado


We held our first dinner at the IPCPR in Las Vegas last night for a group of cigar makers and cigar brand owners. During the last few visits to Sin City, we were relegated to smoking on the gaming floors, or in some outdoor terrace at a restaurant. But last night at Bradley Ogden, we were given a private dining room where we could light up cigars. It didn't take long for everyone to realize the smoking light was on, and by the time we were done with our menus, the cigars were going strong.

As I lit up my cigar, I looked for an ashtray to dispose of the clipped head. There was one at one end of the long table, and a much smaller one at the other end. I called the sommelier over and asked, "Could we have some more ashtrays, please." She laughed. "That's all we have. Up until two weeks ago, what you're doing here was illegal. We don't have any ashtrays." I laughed along with her. I asked her for a couple of small plates to pass around the middle of the table so people had someplace to put their ashes. But the absence of the ashtrays was certainly a reminder of how long smoking restrictions have been in place and how they were observed.

The law in Nevada changed two weeks ago. It basically permits bars and restaurants which don't serve people under 21 to allow smoking areas as well as serve food, which had been prohibited. The law was apparently not very specific about where and how to permit smoking, but most restaurants are looking for ways to accommodate smokers, especially if they have private rooms. The sommelier said they probably would not allow smoking in the open areas of the restaurants, but she was glad they could now offer a place to smoke for people.

Is the tide turning? It's way to soon to make any grand statements like that. But it was really nice to be in Las Vegas, eating at a fine restaurant and being able to have a cigar with friends without having to head out on the gaming floor with the slot machines, roulette wheels, crap tables and blackjack stations. Let's hope it continues.

"My first 45 years I never smoked my choice right! Will I am fifty now and I will continue my smoking protest by smoking as many years as I like or until I see fit to stop. God I love a good cigar! " —October 11, 2011 04:38 AM
"Freedom is the simplest pleasure to enjoy and yet the one we must constantly stand vigil to preserve. " —July 25, 2011 21:30 PM
"It's about time.I'm loving it.Nothing like having a good steak and topping it off with a fine premium cigar and a good sifter of port.VEGAS,thats why I can't wait to get back.Makes the Big Smoke that much sweeter for me in Oct.Smoke one for me Gordon." —July 19, 2011 21:36 PM
"Nice! Light one up for me, Gordon!" —July 19, 2011 16:48 PM
"It about time! Just think if you told a liberal they couldn't wear an Obama pin unless they went outside." —July 19, 2011 12:32 PM
"Well Nevada passed a clean air act that prohibited smoking in any place that served food. What happened was that many small bars in town had to either close their kitchens, not allow smoking or separate an area like the bar from the dining room. Most didn't have the money to do the glass wall thing. Some lost money on the food service others lost revenue because smokers went to other bars. The odd thing here in Las Vegas is that it seems food, drinking, smoking and the big daddy gambling are not easy to separate in a lounge environment. Lots of small corner bars simply shut down and there was a big backlash from the community. So this year the law was amended to allow food and smoking as long as no one under 21 is allowed in the area. So now we can eat our chicken wings have a beer and smoke in front of a slot machine once again. But be careful as soon as this was enacted radio adds for a new clean air act arose. This would kill smoking indoors completely. Lucky for Nevada casino's wont let this happen they know who pays the bills. A study was done a few years back that showed that people in their normal lives that don't smoke will light up inside a casino while they are gambling. We have had several non smoking casino's over the years open and close not long their after. So I believe we shall hold this ground. Bll " —July 19, 2011 12:17 PM
"What . . . pluralism for private business? Not hog-tied to government bureaucracy and special interests? "This is madness and utterly insane, it'll never work" . . . so say the brainwashed sheep." —July 19, 2011 00:20 AM
" very specific places SO THAT***..." —July 18, 2011 22:20 PM
"I think Nevada has struck a good balance. It allows smoking in very specific areas where nobody who doesn't want to smell smoke doesn't have to (remembering that some people's personal freedoms sometimes infringe on other's) and everyone wins. We certainly don't need a whole bar or restaurant, do we? A nice indoor place to smoke is all we want. And besides, I know that the slots and roulettes are where I wanna get my smoking done anyway." —July 18, 2011 22:18 PM
"I only hope to see changes like this occur in North Carolina. " —July 18, 2011 19:21 PM
"That actually sounds like a common sense smoking law. How did that happen?" —July 18, 2011 11:57 AM
"That's the kind of change we need in America. Return of personal freedom, repeal of many laws and taxes, smaller governments and the elimination of so much red tape and regulations that are destroying so many industries, including the Cigar Industry. Now is the time to push back on big government and regulation." —July 18, 2011 11:45 AM