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Say Another Long Goodbye to Boston’s Cigar Shops

It’s been a while since I’ve done a straight up “damn the man” type story, so here’s one to chew on. Following a recent series of moves aimed at smokers and small businesses owners, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick just vetoed a provision that would’ve preserved the state’s cigar bars in communities of over 150,000, according to a Boston Globe article. The logic behind rejecting the provision was the classic, beating-a-dead-horse reasoning of “protecting public health.”

This is following a 2008 legislative attack that is slated to close each of Boston’s cigar bars by 2018, unless they choose to petition for a 10-year extension.

All I have to say to Gov. Patrick and Massachusetts legislators is this: you can have your bars, restaurants (even the outdoor patios, which are also now smoke-free), airports, and every other place in the state where you aren’t allowed to light up, but keep your hands off of the cigar bars! Does anyone honestly think any patron or employee of a cigar bar is concerned about secondhand smoke? Cigar bars don’t affect the people around them, so this isn’t a public health issue—it’s an issue of nanny-like, “government knows best” supervision. I’ve said all of this too many times before, but stories like this just make my blood boil.

I know this is an awful note to leave off on before taking a break for the weekend, but think of it more as a call to action than an angry rant. I don’t live in Massachusetts, so local legislators probably won’t be as open to my grievances as they would to the state’s residents. So if you live in Massachusetts, contact your legislators and tell them what you think! This is a deliberate attack on your right to use a 100 percent legal product!

Anyway, the IPCPR starts next week, and I’ll be doing my best to post updates as I receive them from my lucky coworkers. Enjoy your weekend, and if you live in Massachusetts, harass your lawmakers!