A Connecticut state congressman has filed a bill that seeks to allow for the expansion, change in location and establishment of tobacco bars in the state.

H.B. 5139 is sponsored by Rep. Jason Perillo, R-113, and while the full text of the bill has not been made public, a summary of the bill indicates that it is focused on making an amendment to section 19a-342 of the general statutes to remove the prohibition on the expansion or change in location of tobacco bars after Dec. 31, 2002.

The statute in question provides an exemption for cigar bars from the state’s prohibitions on indoor smoking, provided it has not expand in size or changed its location from its size or location as of Dec. 31, 2002. The statute defines a tobacco bar as an establishment that had a permit for the sale of alcoholic liquor to consumers issued in the calendar year ending Dec. 31, 2002 and which generated at least ten percent or more of its total annual gross income from the on-site sale of tobacco products and the rental of on-site humidors.

Cigar Rights of America has come out in support of the bill, calling it “a piece of common sense legislation that seeks to not only promote the creation of small businesses premium cigar bars, but also allows those premium cigar bars already in operation the ability to operate their businesses in a friendly economic environment.”

The bill has been referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health.

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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.