A bill that would have allowed for the creation and licensing of cigar bars that had been making its way through the Montana Legislature came to a halt on Friday when a Senate committee tabled it after objection from healthcare officials.

The bill, HB 285, created an exemption to the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act for bard that generated 10 percent of their revenue from the sale of cigars. Sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Trebas, R-Great Falls. the bill passed the House by a 55-43 vote on Feb. 24.

While it found support among some Senate Judiciary Committee members, it was the testimony of a dozen individuals speaking on behalf of the healthcare industry and health advocacy groups who said that passage of the bill would lead to an increase in cancer as well as lung and heart disease among both patrons and employees.

Their argument was convincing enough to get the committee to table the bill, and while not officially dead, it would have to be taken up by the same Judiciary Committee for it to advance to the Senate floor for a vote.

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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.