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Stogie News: Hope for Ohio’s Struggling Cigar Bars

17 Jul 2007

Last November we reported live results – and ultimately wrap-up analysis – of the various anti-tobacco initiatives up for grabs on Election Day. While voters were reluctant to pass tobacco tax hikes, they had no qualms against voting for senseless smoking bans.

One such law was the statewide smoking ban in Ohio. Calling for a prohibition on smoking in public places and most private businesses, the ban passed easily with about 58 percent of the vote. We also mentioned that a similar Buckeye State proposition with some reasonable exemptions failed miserably.

Ah, but there may be a glimmer of hope for Ohio yet. Our friends over at Cigar Jack brought this Cincinnati Enquirer article to my attention, which explains a bill has been introduced by State Sen. Gary Cates (pictured) that would make cigar bars exempt from the ban.

When you think about it, this is a no-brainer. Smoking bans shouldn’t exist in the first place, and enforcing them in private places that completely depend on a smoking clientele is both sick and cruel. People like Greg Varacalli, owner of Anthony’s Cigar Bar & Grill, are reporting revenue decreases in excess of 60 percent. That’s enough to force bankruptcy.

So let’s do what we can to help out these hardworking entrepreneurs. In December you made a difference by blitzing the toll-free “Complaint Hotline” the state initiated to allow nosey Ohioans to report smoking ban violations. Once again I’m asking you to lend a hand (especially if you live in the state) by contacting a state senator and asking him or her to support S.B. 195.

This is one of those rare situations where instead of merely bitching about bad policy we can actually do something about it. Every call or letter will help.

On behalf of everyone here at, all reasonable people in Ohio, and the cause of freedom, thank you in advance.

Patrick A

Tags: cigars

2 Responses to “Stogie News: Hope for Ohio’s Struggling Cigar Bars”

  1. Mac and Nudo Tuesday, July 17, 2007 at 4:32 am #

    Finally some good news on the smoking ban front. Whatever happens, please keep us updated on the progress of this bill.

  2. Erica Tuesday, July 17, 2007 at 8:04 am #


    I live in Findlay and I just wrote a letter to my state senator. Thank you, Stogie Guys, for making your readers aware of this.