Springfield, Illinois March 29, 2011 – When an across-the-board smoking ban prevents cigar enthusiasts from smoking in a cigar bar or a cigar store, what’s the next logical move? Exempt them, says the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association.
The Illinois House Bill 1310 would give the state’s local liquor commissions power to issue smoking licenses to establishments with liquor licenses and other businesses that qualify – e.g. cigar bars and cigar stores.
“Now here’s a piece of tobacco-related legislation that is good for the state, good for business, and good for the economy, in general,” said Chris McCalla, legislative director for the IPCPR. “The smoking ban effectively obliterated cigar bars from the state. This legislation would allow for their welcomed return.”
The bill requires that prominent postings be made in the licensed establishments advising its employees and customers that smoking was permitted on the premises.
“The IPCPR – a non-profit organization comprised of some 2,000 local cigar store retailers and manufacturers of premium cigars – has long opposed legislated smoking bans while endorsing the right of business owners to decide for themselves whether or not to allow smoking in their respective businesses. In a way, HB1310 returns that right to at least some business owners,” McCalla said.
The bill was initially sponsored by Representatives Anthony DeLuca and Randy Ramey. Additional sponsors include Representatives Daniel Burke, Robert Rita, and Rita Mayfield.
“The state of Illinois is in a leadership position on this issue as it joins several other states currently preparing to revise their respective smoking bans to allow issuance of licenses by their local liquor commissions which would permit smoking in such establishments,” he said.
McCalla said the IPCPR is urging all of its members, their customers and all other adult residents of Illinois to contact their state legislators and urge their support for HB 1310.
“It’s the smart thing to do,” said McCalla. “It’s good for business, good for jobs and good for the state.“