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News Summary

Smoking measure falls short

Publication Date: 2008-07-08
  • Author:Brad Shannon
  • Publication:The Olympian

Not enough signatures collected to get initiative on ballot

Backers of an initiative seeking to allow smoking in cigar bars and private clubs failed to meet last week's signature deadline, but they claimed Monday to have come close.

Joe Arundel, sponsor of I-1016 and owner of Rain City Cigar in Seattle, said his low-budget effort using a network of cigar shop owners and bar owners collected more than 213,000 signatures.

"Unfortunately, in our business, it's close but no cigar," Arundel said, trying to inject humor into defeat.

The law required 225,000 signatures.

I-1016 would have allowed smoking in private facilities, cigar stores and cigar bars.

Initiative 901 extended Washington's indoor smoking ban in 2005, and it passed with backing from a coalition of health groups that cited concerns about second-hand smoke exposure for workers in bars and clubs.

Arundel is not giving up, and said he plans to ask lawmakers in January to permit exceptions.