Cigar Aficionado

Update: Smoking Ban Proposal to be Withdrawn

An Albuquerque, New Mexico, city councilor plans to withdraw his indoor smoking ban proposal that would have prohibited smoking in retail tobacco stores and cigar bars.

According to KOB Eyewitness News 4, City Councilor Michael Cadigan is dropping his proposal because "I just didn't get a lot of strong, positive reaction to the idea of eliminating the retail tobacco exemption." He will officially withdraw the proposal at Wednesday's Land Use, Planning and Zoning Committee meeting.

"We are very happy it [the ban] did not pass," said Keith Holthusen, co-owner of the Albuquerque Cigar Club. According to Holthusen, the community, including many nonsmokers, rallied behind the tobacconists because they viewed the bill as an infringement of civil rights. Holthusen says the language of the proposed bill was targeting private clubs and tobacco retail stores. "It just went too far," Holthusen said.

Holthusen and other tobacconists are celebrating the news, but he remains wary of future attempts to legislate the local cigar industry.

"I don't think the war is over, but this particular battle seems to be," said Holthusen.

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