It’s been a turbulent year for Nebraska cigar shops, having recently lost the exemption that allowed customers to light up inside after a drawn out legal battle that ended up in front of the state’s supreme court. But just as it appeared the matter was resolved and the ashtrays would be relegated to storage, State Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill introduced a bill into the state legislature on Friday that would allow them to be brought out and cigars once again lit up by restoring the exemption for cigar shops.

LB 118 spells out that cigar shops and bars are in fact different from other businesses and should be exempted as such, calling the exemption for cigar shops a limited one that does not interfere with the original intent of the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act. Language in the proposal says that “The Legislature finds that cigars and pipe tobacco have different characteristics than other forms of tobacco such as cigarettes…and unlike cigarette smokers, cigar and pipe smokers may take an hour or longer to enjoy a cigar or pipe rather than simply satisfying an addiction.”

The bill also says that because of the supreme court’s ruling, an emergency exists and the bill would go into effect immediately when passed and approved. It has yet to be assigned to a committee or have other action taken on it.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.