Good Neighbors

Cigar smokers tend to get a bad rap. I — and many of my fellow hobbyists — take pains to discourage giving anyone a reason to continue the stigma. That’s why it’s more than a little distressing to hear stories that put tobacco enthusiasts in a bad light.


Location, Location, Location

Some residents of Missoula, Montana aren’t feeling the love for a members-only cigar lounge that recently opened directly below a children’s museum. Parents have complained not only of the smoky smell, but moreover of the concern that their kids are being subject to second-hand smoke. Now, health officials have asked a judge to order the cigar lounge to relocate.

Legal experts say the argument for relocation would be based on whether the lounge violates the state’s ban on indoor smoking in public spaces. The lounge owner has pointed to the air purification ventilation system, but health officials say that might not cut it.

“It’s almost impossible to keep smoke from moving from one part of a building into another,” said Environmental Health Director Shannon Therriault.

Do the Right Thing

Readers of this blog can attest that I have been a staunch defender of smokers’ rights for years now. However, in the words of former President Barack Obama: “Come on, man.”

Cigar smokers must (and in most cases do) exhibit high standards of courtesy and common respect. There is simply no excuse to wantonly put the health of children in danger. Should these kids take up smoking when they’re old enough to legally do so, that is their choice. Until then, members of the Missoula cigar club need to be good stewards and good neighbors. Moving the lounge is the only civil option.


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