Many states have enacted smoking bans, which may or may not apply to cigar lounges. Is your state one of the many that have instituted smoking bans? There are many questions surrounding the rules and regulations of smoking bans. We will break them down for you in this article.
When Did the Ban Start?
California was the first state to instate a ban on smoking indoors in 1995. Since then, a number of states have followed suit and enacted indoor smoking bans, the most recent being Alaska on July 18, 2018.
Smoking bans are a state issue, not a federal one, so Congress cannot enact a nation-wide indoor smoking ban. According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, as of July 1, 2017, about 81.5% of the US lives under a smoking ban of some kind. Approximately 58% live under laws that ban smoking in all bars, restaurants, and workplaces.
States That Currently Have a Smoking Ban
As of July 2018, 26 states have a smoking ban on all enclosed workplaces. Nevertheless, some of the states have exemptions specifically for cigar bars. These states are:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
When it comes to adult-only venues, 5 states have exceptions to the smoking ban. These states are:
A handful of states have smoking bans that have different coverages and exceptions. For example, Alaska allows smoking in private clubs that were established before January 1, 2017, and also allows villages to opt-out of state smoking laws. Local governments can then create their own smoking policies. In some areas, you can smoke in bars and workplaces cna have designated smoking areas.
Nevada has banned smoking in all public places and workplaces but casinos, brothels, strip clubs, and retail tobacco stores are exempt from this law. Any place that allows smoking inside in Nevada must only allow patrons who are over the age of 21. Smoking must also take place in a designated area.
New Hampshire law prevents local governments from enacting local smoking bans, but smoking is still banned in schools, bars, and common public areas. You are allowed to smoke everywhere else.
In North Carolina, smoking is banned in all bars and restaurants but this rule excludes private clubs and cigar bars. Local governments in North Carolina local governments can regulate smoking that the state can, but they are prohibited from enacting smoking bans in tobacco shops, private clubs, private residences/vehicles, and cigar bars.
States Without a Smoking Ban
As of July 2018, 12 states in the US do not have a general ban on smoking in bars, workplaces or restaurants. These states are:
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Popular Cigar Lounges
Due to smoking bans being enacted in various states, cigar lounges have been popping up all around the place. NYC has some of the most well-known and popular cigar bars in the US and Chicago is close behind. New cigar bars are opening in locations across the country, including Denver, Miami, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.
Back in 1995, only two cigar bars existed in NYC. Now, there are too many to count. The most prominent lounge in NYC is called Club Macanudo which is located on the Upper East Side. Club Macanudo is owned and operated by the General Cigar Co., who is the maker of Partagas. Club Macanudo can seat 125 people and boasts an upscale and sophisticated clientele. The club enforces a dress code so make sure you bring a jacket if you want to go.
Another popular NYC location is The Cigar Bar, which is located in midtown at the Beekman Bar & Books location. This bar takes a cue from gentlemen’s clubs and has bar stools, couches, and mahogany walls.
The Grotto is another popular cigar joint in NYC. It is located on the Manhattan west side and seats up to 62 people. They also have an excellent selection of premium liquors, a menu featuring tasty dishes such as marinated salmon, and a variety of cigars for you to smoke.
One of Chicago’s hottest modern cigar bars is the Smoke and Drink. This cigar bar has 10,000 square feet and a seven-foot, cedar-lined humidor. Smoke and Drink was created after the owners noticed a demand for smoking from their regular patrons at their nightclub Drink. The owners converted the back room into a cigar lounge and have a rotating selection of 5 to 10 cigars per night.
Iwan Ries & Co. is one of the oldest and most established cigar bars in Chicago. The bar is located just west of Millenium Park and features a large selection of famous cigar brands, including Partagas, Cohiba, Hoyo De Monterrey, and more. They have been in business since 1857 and they are currently in their 5th generation of management.
If you are heading out to California soon then you may want to check out the Grand Havana Room in Beverly Hills. The Grand Havana Room is a private cigar club that has a large celebrity clientele, including people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Alec Baldwin. The owners are currently in the process of opening more locations in Washing D.C and Manhattan.
Another popular California location in Burbank is called Havana Studios. Havan Studios is a 4,000 square foot club that has several members from the entertainment industry. They have a wide range of affordable cigars ranging from $1-$17.
So, Let’s Sum It Up!
It depends on the state that you are in and the local government in your area. Make sure you check the relevant laws before going out looking for a cigar bar. If you live in a larger city, odds are there is a cigar bar in your area because they have been exploding in popularity recently as more smoking bans are being put into place.