In an era of smoking bans being proposed and enacted in seemingly every state, one Texas legislator is seeking to make sure that no city or county snuffs out smoking in cigar shops.

Rep. Matt Shaheen, R-Plano, has filed H.B. 1279 into the state legislature, which would expressly prohibit any county or municipality from adopting or enforcing an order, ordinance, or similar measure that would prohibits smoking on the premises of a business that allows smoking and for which at least 20 percent of the business’s revenue is derived from the sale of cigars. The Texas Tax Code defines cigars as “a roll of fermented tobacco that is wrapped in tobacco and the main stream of smoke from which produces an alkaline reaction to litmus paper.”

The bill has not yet received a reading on the floor or been assigned to a committee.

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.