SOURCE: Int'l Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers
March 19, 2008 15:35 ET
Petitioners Seek to Soften Stringent Smoking Ban
SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - March 19, 2008) - The nation's most stringent smoking ban may be
a bit less stringent if Washington voters say 'yes' to Initiative 1016 on
To ensure that the Cigar Bar Relief Act of 2008 is on the November ballot,
proponents of the measure must gather 225,000 signatures from registered
voters by June 30. Petitions are available at most cigar stores, former
cigar bars, private clubs like the American Legion and Eagles, and online
at www.cigarwa.com, the website of the Cigar Association of Washington.
"Smokers and non-smokers alike should sign our petitions and vote 'yes' on
November 8 because we are only asking for the right to allow smoking in
relatively few locations without changing the ban elsewhere," says Dale
Taylor, a tobacconist with Rain City Cigar in Seattle and president of the
Cigar Association of Washington which is coordinating the campaign for the
The current ban prohibits smoking in all public places including
restaurants, bars, bowling alleys and non-tribal casinos.
"A 'yes' vote for Initiative 1016 would allow cigar shops, cigar bars and
private clubs like the Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as service
organizations such as the Elks, Lions and others a choice to allow smoking
if they so choose without changing the ban elsewhere," says Taylor.
Under the proposed initiative, a cigar bar would be defined as a bar where
the serving of food is only incidental and where on-site sales of cigars
generate $25,000 or more in annual gross income.
-- such as those used by adult service clubs and, for example, the American
-- would also be exempted from the ban if they so choose except when they
are occasionally open to the public.
"It's important to remember that the initiative does not overturn the
existing ban," Taylor emphasized. "We are only seeking to give the choice
to allow smoking in relatively few locations such as cigar bars, cigar
stores and private clubs. These exemptions exist in most other states and
we believe it is reasonable to request voters to allow them in Washington
Taylor is urging all Washington residents who are registered voters to sign
the petitions by June 30 to get the measure placed on November's ballot.
"This is the democratic process at work," said Taylor.