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California Bans Smoking in Tobacco Shops—Wait, What?!

Man, when will California just give it up? Thanks to new legislation, California has added tobacco shops, of all places, to the list of areas where smoking is now illegal, according to a post on Cigar Aficionado’s website. Already included in that list were bars, restaurants, and non-hospitality workplaces, but those are pretty much standard, except for in a few states.

Bill 575 was introduced in February of this year, and was sponsored by Senator Mark DeSaulnier (obviously my new favorite guy). Cigar Rights of America has been fighting it since day one, calling the legislation “an assault on small business.” There’s still a petition going to shoot down the bill, though I’m not sure how much good that will do now. If you haven’t signed it yet, click the link above and do it, just in case!

I probably don’t need to explain why banning smoking in a tobacco shop is a stupid idea, but for argument’s sake, I will anyway. First of all, is there anyone who would walk into a smoke shop expecting the air to be clean and smoke-free? Even before I started smoking cigars, I had better sense than to expect that. And on that token, I understand that this legislation is for the protection of nonsmoking workers, but who in their right mind would apply for a job in a tobacco shop if they have a problem with tobacco smoke? What is Senator DeSaulnier smoking that makes him think this legislation makes sense?

Anyway, check out the CRA website for the petition and more information, and if you live in California, write your legislators to try to turn things around.