While smoking is still a ways away from becoming a reality in Washington state, the idea took another step forward today as Senate Bill 5917 cleared the Senate Committee on Commerce & Labor by a vote of 5-2. The House Committee on Commerce & Gaming passed a similar version of the bill in late January.

Joe Arundel, president of the Cigar Association of Washington and owner of Rain City Cigars, said that the bill, as well as its companion in the state House of Representatives, still has an uphill fight ahead of it, but called it a good start to the process needed to allow cigar smokers to light up in cigar stores and lounges.

The CAW has also announced that it will be holding its annual CIGARABRATION fundraiser on March 1 to help raise additional funds for legislative efforts.

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.