As you all know, Oregon is welcoming me to the state with a strict new smoking ban that goes into effect on January 1. As smoking bans go it’s not the worst in the US, in that it at least makes exceptions for cigar bars and retail shops. The income requirement from cigar sales is fairly reasonable too: at just $5,000 per year, smoke-friendly cigar bars should be able to achieve it without too much trouble.
The rules for cigar bars have a curious restriction though:
To qualify as a cigar bar, a business must… Prohibit the smoking of all tobacco products other than cigars
Presumably this means that hookahs and pipes are literally out the window (and at least 10 feet away from it). This is absurd. Pipe and cigar smokers join together in the brotherhood of the leaf. Where one is welcome, so is the other. Yet come January 1, enjoying a pipe in a smokers’ bar will be illegal.
I don’t think the intent of the legislature was to ban pipe smoking. It’s such a rare activity these days that they probably just didn’t consider it. My guess is that their true goal is to discriminate against cigarette smokers. They want to make it absolutely impossible for them to find places where they can light up. And further, by denying cigar bar owners the right to serve them they make it even harder for cigar bar owners to build a customer base and stay in business.
All of which shows yet again that the motives for these smoking bans has very little to do with protecting employees and the public from secondhand smoke and everything to do with stamping out a lifestyle deemed unworthy by our nannying rulers.
[Hat tip to commenter Ben at Stogie Guys.]