On Friday August 29th the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that allowing smoking in cigar bars and tobacco shops is an unconstitutional special legislation.
The court which was divided stated in their ruling, “here is no substantial difference in circumstances between cigar bars and other public places or places of employment that justifies treating cigars bars differently. The judges added, “The purpose of the 2008 Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act is to protect the public health by limiting exposure to secondhand smoke, the court’s ruling stated. Allowing smoking in cigar bars, as well as tobacco stores, is directly contrary to that purpose.”
With the ruling it is now illegal to smoke in a cigar bar or retail shop in the state of Nebraska. What options remain at this point for these businesses is unknown.
There are currently 11 cigar bars in the state of Nebraska according to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission license data.
Update: On Monday, Sepetember 8, 2014 the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office on Monday asked the state Supreme Court to rehear the case involving the Nebraska indoor smoking ban exception.
Assistant Attorneys General Natalee Hart and Lynn Melson state that the court erred on its original decision that were contrary to the 2008 Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act and constituted as special legislation which is prohibited by state lawn.
The judges will decide wether or not to grant a rehearing in the case.