After a lengthy court battle that went all the way to the Nebraska Supreme Court, the day has finally come for cigar stores and cigar bars in the state to put the ashtrays away.
According to a post on the Facebook page for Jake’s Cigars & Spirits in Lincoln, Wednesday was the last day they would be able to allow smoking:
“We said we would keep you updated on the smoking issue and we have been informed that tonight will be the last night to smoke inside and tomorrow there will be no smoking at all. Come in tonight and get your smoke on one last time!”
The Supreme Court’s final decision–delayed due to an issue over who would pay attorney’s fees–came down earlier this month and the state began mailing the affected stores replacement licenses shortly thereafter, or in some cases notifying them that their new licenses were ready to be picked up. Once the licenses were received, the shops were supposed to put the ashtrays away for good. During that time, nine of the 11 affected stores and lounges asked for a hearing with the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission to contest the change in their licenses, a request that was denied.
Since that time, a bill has been introduced to the Nebraska Senate by Sen. Tyson Larson that seeks to restore the exemption by saying that the legislature acknowledges that smoking cigars and pipes is inherently different from smoking cigarettes, and as such lounges merit the exemption.