Nebraska Supreme Court to Reconsider Cigar Lounge Smoking Ban

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Cigar lovers may once again be allowed to light up in Nebraska cigar lounges and bars, as the state’s supreme court has agreed to reconsider the exemption they found to be unconstitutional in late August in a 5-2 decision.

Earlier this month the Nebraska Attorney General’s office asked the court for a reconsideration, saying that the court focused solely on the purpose of the smoking ban rather than why the exemptions were created, with Assistant Attorneys General Lynn Melson and Natalee Hart asserting that the court did not adequately understand the reason for the exemptions, citing testimony that said not having the exemption would mean those businesses would not be able to survive.

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The Nebraska Premium Tobacco Association, which represents eight cigar bars and lounges in the state, had its request to submit arguments about why the exemption should be restored approved earlier this week. According to Omaha.com, the group argues that the court had not been adequately advised as to the economic impact that removing the exemption would have.

A date for the hearing has not yet been announced.

Should that fail, State Sen. Tyson Larson has announced that he plans on introducing legislation in the 2015 session that would bring the exemption back.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

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.

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