New Jersey may soon be home to new cigar bars and lounges.
Under the current law, only lounges registered with the state Board of Health and that were opened before 2005 are exempt from the 2006 Smoke-Free Air Act. A proposed new bill would allow any city in the state to allow cigar lounges.
City leaders would still have to approve any new business, and cigar lounge owners would have to adhere to a set of specific rules, including:
- lounges can’t be located inside a bar or restaurant and must have a separate entrance from other businesses
- food and alcohol sales would be prohibited inside the lounges
- lounges must be equipped with an exhaust/air purification system
The fact that lawmakers are even considering such a bill is a step in the right direction, and one that should be applauded. Cigar enthusiasts have just as much right to publicly enjoy tobacco as their alcohol-consuming counterparts.