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News Summary

WA Lawmakers Seek to Ease Smoking Ban

Publication Date: 2011-05-10
  • Publication:NACS Online

Washington state lawmakers are seeking to ease Washington’s smoking ban by allowing cigar and pipe smoking for a limited number of tobacco retailers, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.

Last week, a Senate committee approved a bill to allow 100 cigar lounges and 500 retail tobacco shops to allow cigar smoking, though cigarettes would still be banned.

Businesses covered by the bill would have to pay a $17,500 annual fee to obtain a cigar lounge endorsement and $6,000 to obtain a tobacco store endorsement. Proponents argue the bill would help local businesses affected by the state smoking ban that voters approved in 2005.

Critics argue the bill threatens the health of employees and the public. The bill requires employees to sign an acknowledgement accepting that tobacco smoke might be present in their workplace.