Washington State’s two-year-old indoor smoking ban is facing a challenge. Cigar shop owners have filed a citizen initiative to roll-back part of the law.
Dale Taylor is with the newly formed Cigar Association of Washington. He says the initiative would allow smoking in cigar shops, cigar bars, private clubs and service organizations like the Elks.
Dale Taylor: “What we’re asking for here is a fair and reasonable exemption to the law that allows a cigar store, for instance like the one I work in, to allow the customers to smoke the cigars that they buy here. And cigar bars which there used to be more than a few around the greater Seattle area and in the state.”
Sponsors have until June 30th to collect 225,000 valid voter signatures to get the measure on the November ballot.
Backers of the indoor smoking ban are concerned the initiative would create unintended loopholes in the law. For instance they say a bar might call itself a private club in order to allow patrons to smoke.