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Washington, D.C. Hotels now Partially Smoker-Friendly

For cigar advocates, good news is hard to come by. That’s why when we come across a story highlighting a victory for cigar smokers anywhere, it’s just too good not to blog about. According to an article in the Washington Post, the D.C. Council just approved a provision that would allow hotels in Washington, D.C. to host one cigar-friendly event per year.

Any hotel seeking this once-per-year exemption would have to notify the city health department, pay a $2,500 fee, and allow workers to opt out of the event without consequence. As you might have guessed, despite making this exemption as city- and nonsmoker-friendly as possible, the pleasure police are up in arms. This is especially troubling since the exemption was originally created so that a single charity event, the “Fight Night” fundraiser for the Fight for Children charity, could allow smoking.

“[T]here could be dozens of events annually that permit cigar smoking,” said Angela Bradbery of Smokefree D.C. in the Post article. “Nothing in the measure limits the exemption to charitable events; anyone can take advantage of it.” I’ve drafted an easy solution for Bradbery and any other overzealous antismoking advocates who wouldn’t want to attend a smoker-friendly charitable (or non-charitable) event—just don’t go! The hotel’s employees don’t have to be there, and neither do you.

Thankfully, an amendment to the provision was shot down, allowing each of the city’s 79 eligible hotels one blissful, smoke-filled day per year. So with that, if you live in the D.C. area, keep an eye out for any cigar-friendly events, especially the charitable ones!