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Stogie News: A Smoking Bans Update

21 Aug 2008

Here at, we make an honest effort not to grumble too often about government-mandated smoking bans and the anti-tobacco zealots who advocate them. While we’ve made no secret of the fact that such invasive bans limit choice, violate private property, and are justified only by shoddy “science,” we try to focus on the more enjoyable aspects of the wonderful hobby we all share in our daily coverage of the world of cigars.

But understanding what’s happening in the increasingly hostile smoking ban movement is an essential tool in asserting our freedoms as cigar smokers and standing up for the rights of restaurant and bar entrepreneurs across the nation. In that spirit, and since I haven’t written anything similar since March, I offer the following news items for your consideration. They are by no means all-inclusive; they’re simply a few of the more interesting smoking ban stories to surface as of late:

1. Charleston, WV: “Some Kanawha County bar owners are uniting Tuesday night to make one clear statement about the new smoking ban. They’re putting the ashtrays back out, allowing smokers to light up once again, and breaking the law. It’s all to protest the expanded ban, which eliminates smoking in most public places including bars and gambling parlors. It’s like old times inside the Black Hawk Saloon. Business is booming for owner Kerry Ellison on this night dedicated to smokers. Ellison is breaking the law and proud of it. He’s standing up against the smoking ban he says has cut his business in half.”

2. Davenport, IA: “Regardless of your opinion on Iowa’s smoking ban, some of the temporary administrative rules—such as the distinction between bars and restaurants—go beyond the intent of the law…Obviously, legislators intended for bars to permit smoking outside. However, instead of being explicit in their definitions, legislators defined bars as venues where serving food is ‘incidental’ to the consumption of alcohol, but they didn’t define ‘incidental.’…But the [Iowa Department of Public Health]’s definition means that bars serving burgers, chicken, or anything requiring a grill are considered restaurants. The Iowa law was already more strict than the one in Illinois, which permits smoking in almost all outdoor locations, including the outdoor seating areas of bars and restaurants. But the interpretation by IDPH pushed Iowa’s rules to the extreme.”

3. Chillicothe, OH: “An Ohio group is launching a campaign with the hope of repealing some provisions of the statewide smoking ban approved by voters and instituted in the spring of 2007…Opponents of Ohio Bans says the bill will restore exemptions to the smoking ban for family-owned businesses, outdoor patios and private clubs—organizations that have been vocal in opposition to the ban and have said they have been financially hurt by it.”

Patrick A

photo credit: Flickr

6 Responses to “Stogie News: A Smoking Bans Update”

  1. Padronnie Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 1:16 pm #

    These anti-smoking nannies are the same ones opposing efforts to lower the drinking age to 21… because, you know, being able to die for your country doesn’t mean you should be able to have a beer.

  2. Deep Blue Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 3:04 pm #

    I live and work in Charleston, West Virginia. And after work on Tuesday I drove over to the Black Hawk Saloon SPECIFICALLY to lend my support to revolt against the smoking ban. I had never been to the place, but I specifically made a point to meet Kerry Ellison, shake his hand, and tell him how much I appreciated him for fighting back against the local Health Gestapo. Word of his protest spread like wildfire throughout the county, and I would estimate at LEAST 20 bars were allowing smoking that evening. Thank God civil disobedience is alive and well for now.

  3. History Buff Monday, August 25, 2008 at 10:46 am #

    New Mantra:

    No smoke = No go = I'll keep my own dough!

    No smoke = No go = I'll keep my own dough!

    No smoke = No go = I'll keep my own dough!

    No smoke = No go = I'll keep my own dough!

    No smoke = No go = I'll keep my own dough!

    No smoke = No go = I'll keep my own dough!

    No smoke = No go = I'll keep my own dough!

    No smoke = No go = I'll keep my own dough!

  4. Kevin Saturday, August 30, 2008 at 5:32 pm #

    I am really curious to know how the highbrows in think tanks world wide explain, how a Doctor today is different from a racist with a different target group?

    WE know as a "sin tax", cigarette taxes are penance or punishment for the immoral. And as Dalton McGuinty the Premier of Ontario Canada declared; "smokers need to quit or they will be punished" leading up to the Ontario smoking ban. The punishment of smoking bans similarly, is known to be a punishment for immoral acts; this is also something we can all understand for what it is.

    How you explain the whines from those who are benefiting in the majority today from the healthcare system remains puzzling. A system built and maintained for the largest part of the past 60 years primarily by smokers and former smokers, who now dare seek benefit, from what they paid for, over their whole lives?

    Are doctors today selling the virtues of David Dukes, as a misunderstood soul, who was simply ahead of his time?

    I would really like to know, due to the similarity in methods of growing support through fear, exaggerated misinformation and promoted hatred; Is the Klan currently a stakeholder organization, involved in the public health or tobacco control movements or in the evolving offshoot, fat people pandemic campaign? If not, as they would see similar benefits to those which attracted the other stakeholders, are they eligible to sign up? What legitimate reason could you possibly give to refuse them?

    Disease management is not all that difficult to understand, nor are those who promoted it.

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