Boston Considers Cigar Bar Ban
Thus far, cigar bars in big cities have been mostly immune from bans on smoking but that may change in Boston. The Boston Public Health Commission will vote soon on whether or not to expand smoking restrictions which would ban cigar bars and hookah bars as well as the sale of tobacco in pharmacies and on college campuses. The AP reports that the commission gave preliminary approval to the rules in September and will make a final vote on Thursday. Boston has had smoking restrictions in place for four years.
There are bans on smoking bars in 52 communities across the United States including some in Massachusetts but a potential Boston ban would be significant simply because it is such a big city. The cigar bar ban would not go into effect for five years but the tobacco sales bans on campuses and pharmacies would go into effect in 60 days.
What prompted the potential ban? Turns out that in this case you can blame the hookah. A rise in license requests for hookah bars was a major reason for the increased scrutiny. Because the demographics of hookah bars skew younger, the city is concerned that the youth of the city is doing too much smoking. It seems to me that "event smoking" in places like cigar bars is the lesser evil healthwise compared to the daily cigarette smoker.