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News Summary

Smoke and mirrors behind cigar bar bill

Publication Date: 5/26/2009
  • Author:Editorial
  • Publication:Nashua Telegraph

KEY POINTS

BACKGROUND: The New Hampshire Senate has approved a bill that would allow cigar bars in the state to serve alcohol.

CONCLUSION: How this doesn't contradict the fundamental premise of the state's ban on smoking in restaurants and bars is beyond us.

If a law now puffing its way through the Legislature passes, cigar shops will be able to sell alcoholic beverages along with their stogies; a good thing for cigar store owners, their customers and New Hampshire.

But while this law may make practical sense, the logical wormholes the bill's supporters must jump through to explain how it's not hypocritical in the face of the state's existing ban on smoking in restaurants and bars make the narrative structure of "Finnegans Wake" seem as straightforward as the copy on the back of a box of Cap'n Crunch.

Of course, these convoluted rationalizations may be moot anyway. The much stricter version of the bill the Senate has just passed is unlikely to receive a warm welcome when it gets back to the House.

Which may mean the bill ends up languishing in committee--and when the smoke finally clears there may be nothing left but the powdery ash of a pipe dream.