Written by Puff Staff

Friday, 28 June 2013

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cigar regulationsmoking rights
tobacco legislation

The California city of San Luis Obispo became the first to forbid smoking in all public buildings. This ban included restaurants and bars.


This is the year that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration inserted itself into the regulation of tobacco products, as President Clinton approved a proposal giving the FDA authority to regulate the sales of cigarettes, citing them as a “drug delivery device.” In 2000, this proposal was overturned by a 5-4 vote of the Supreme Court, sending efforts to regulate back to Congress.

The writing was on the wall for those smoke-filled bars, as California became the first state in the U.S. to ban smoking in restaurants, bars and most other public places.

Cigarette advertising was banned on billboards. Bye-bye, Joe Camel.


New York City added all restaurants and bars, including private clubs, to its smoke-free law. This was one of the toughest anti-smoking laws in the country.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons adopted a smoke-free policy for its facilities. Now 24 states prohibit smoking indoors in prisons while four (California, Arkansas, Nebraska and Kentucky) ban smoking on the entire prison grounds.

Tobacco products lost their exemption from federal oversight when President Obama signed legislation giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory authority over the content, marketing and advertising of cigarettes and other tobacco items. This bill gave the FDA the ability to limit the amount of nicotine in cigarettes but not to ban tobacco products.

Since then, the FDA has banned candy and fruit flavorings in cigarettes, in an effort to make them less attractive to children and teens. A federal law also sharply increased taxes on cigarettes and small cigars but not on larger premium cigars.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act prohibited tobacco companies from sponsoring sports, music, and other cultural events. The companies are also banned from displaying their logos or products on T-shirts, hats, or other items of apparel.


In July, a federal law banned in-store rolling machines that allowed customers to buy the less-taxed pipe tobacco and use it to roll their own smokes. This left some shop owners with $35,000 rolling machines they could no longer use.

North Dakota became the 28th smoke-free state after approving a law by ballot initiative.

2013 and beyond
The 28 states that have passed statewide bans on smoking in all enclosed public places, including all restaurants and bars, are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

To complicate things further for the smoker, some of these states have exemptions for certain businesses. Tobacconists are exempt from anti-smoking regulations in all the states above except Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Washington. Some states also have exemptions for cigar bars, casinos, private clubs and small workplaces. Some allow hotels and motels to have a certain percentage of smoking rooms.

So far, premium cigars have been spared the stricter regulations the FDA has placed on cigarettes since 2009, but that could be changing soon. As of April 2013, there were reports that the agency was considering steps such as banning walk-in humidors and seasonal cigar blends, restricting store advertising and placing graphic warning labels on the cigar boxes.


While it’s possible that none of these will come to pass, it’s likely that the FDA will extend its ban on candy flavoring to cigars. New York City and Providence, R.I. have already banned the sale of all flavored tobacco products, plus legislation has been introduced in both NYC and NY state that would raise the age for purchasing all tobacco products to 21.

It’s impossible to look into the future and predict what will happen with tobacco regulation over the next few years, but given what’s happened in the past, cigar lovers every right to be worried.


0 # RE: Cigar Rights and Tobacco Legislation: A Timeline of Anti-Smoking RegulationJames Holland 2013-06-29 20:28
I believe that the FDA has plans to regulate cigars just as they have cigarettes. It is up to us to fight this. If we do nothing, we will inherit continued regulation of cigars and, eventually there demise. I joined Cigar Rights of America. Sorry I didn't join years ago, they are getting results in combating cigar regulation.

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0 # freedom fighterjohn davidson 2013-06-30 08:23
Heres a time line starting in 1900,dont be surprised to see the same thing playing out today nearly 100 years later.

1901: REGULATION: Strong anti-cigarette activity in 43 of the 45 states. "Only Wyoming and Louisiana had paid no attention to the cigarette controversy, while the other forty-three states either already had anti-cigarette laws on the books or were considering new or tougher anti-cigarette laws, or were the scenes of heavy anti- cigarette activity" (Dillow, 1981:10).

1904: New York: A judge sends a woman is sent to jail for 30 days for smoking in front of her children.

1904: New York City. A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in an automobile. "You can't do that on Fifth Avenue," the arresting officer says.

1907: Business owners are refusing to hire smokers. On August 8, the New York Times writes: "Business ... is doing what all the anti-cigarette specialists could not do."

1917: SMOKEFREE: Tobacco control laws have fallen, including smoking bans in numerous cities, and the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho and Tennessee.

1937: hitler institutes laws against smoking.

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