Written by Puff Staff

Friday, 23 April 2010

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Smoking Events Given a Pass in D.C.

There is some good news for hotels in Washington D.C. that wish to hold cigar smoking events: they can do so, at least until the end of 2010. This good news was released in the first week of March, and is thanks to D.C. City Councilman Jack Evans, who presented the Special Event Exemption Emergency Act of 2010. The amendment, which passed by a 10-3 vote, allows for smoking events at hotels, though in a very limited manner.

The manner is so limited, in fact, that a hotel may only hold one smoking event per year. The exemption is a temporary one that only lasts until the end of 2010. With the termination date of the end of 2010, at least, there is a bit of flexibility in the amendment, as legislation of its kind is usually only good for a 90-day period.

Not just any hotel event can qualify for the extension, however. The event must be one that has at least 500 people in attendance. Also, the hotel's capacity must be able to hold all of the attendees. Finally, a $250 fee must be paid to the Department of Health after they are formally notified that such an event is to take place.

The actual driving force behind this special exemption are two events that have typically taken place in the D.C. area over the years. The first event, which takes place on March 17th, also known as St. Patrick's Day, is a dinner held by the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. The dinner has been held for the past 81 years to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and has had several important local figures as its attendees, who typically enjoy a cigar as a tradition.


The second event, held on November 11, is the Fight for Children, which is a fundraiser that last year raised over $2.8 million in the name of education for underprivileged children in the D.C. area. The night hosts several prominent local figures and is characterized by professional boxing and cigar smoking.

Had this exemption not been passed, not only would traditions be broken, but local charities would miss out on much needed fundraising efforts. Smoking fans, traditionalists, and fundraisers alike can only hope that the amendment gets extended past 2010.

That concludes part 1 of my smoking news for April. Stay tuned as I bring you more happenings around the industry in part 2 of April's edition.
















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