A Maine state legislator has introduced a piece of legislation that would allow for cigar smokers to light up in their favorite cigar store.

The bill, L.D. 343, was introduced on Thursday by Rep. Matthew Harrington, R-Sanford. It seeks to modify the state’s the existing laws regarding smoking and creates a definition for a cigar lounge and allowing for tobacco specialty stores to transition into becoming cigar lounges.

In order to qualify for that definition, a cigar lounge may not sell cigarettes or allow the smoking of cigarettes and may not prepare food on premises for sale. The owner must also provide notice to all applicants for employment and employees that “working in a cigar lounge may cause serious negative health effects, including an increased risk of cancer and heart disease and that no level of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke is safe,” according to the bill. A cigar lounge would need to obtain a license to operate as a cigar lounge, which will cost $100 per year.

Additionally, the owner of a cigar lounge may apply for a liquor license in order to sell beer, wine and liquor.

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Health and Human Services.

Featured image by Unique Hotels Group on Flickr, used under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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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.