Nebraska Revised Statute 53-136

Chapter 53


Cigar shops; legislative findings; legislative intent.

(1) The Legislature finds that allowing smoking in cigar shops as a limited exception to the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act does not interfere with the original intent that the general public and employees not be unwillingly subjected to second-hand smoke. This exception poses a de minimis restriction on the public and employees given the limited number of cigar shops compared to other businesses that sell alcohol, cigars, and pipe tobacco, and any member of the public should reasonably expect that there would be second-hand smoke in a cigar shop given the nature of the business and could choose to avoid such exposure.

(2) The Legislature finds that (a) cigars and pipe tobacco have different characteristics than other forms of tobacco such as cigarettes, (b) cigars are customarily paired with various spirits such as cognac, single malt whiskey, bourbon, rum, rye, port, and others, and (c) unlike cigarette smokers, cigar and pipe smokers may take an hour or longer to enjoy a cigar or pipe while cigarettes simply serve as a mechanism for delivering nicotine. Cigars paired with selected liquor creates a synergy unique to the particular pairing similar to wine paired with particular foods. Cigars are a pure, natural product wrapped in a tobacco leaf that is typically not inhaled in order to enjoy the taste of the smoke, unlike cigarettes that tend to be processed with additives and wrapped in paper and are inhaled. Cigars have a different taste and smell than cigarettes due to the fermentation process cigars go through during production. Cigars tend to cost considerably more than cigarettes, and their quality and characteristics vary depending on the type of tobacco plant, the geography and climate where the tobacco was grown, and the overall quality of the manufacturing process. Not only does the customized blending of the tobacco influence the smoking experience, so does the freshness of the cigars, which is dependent on how the cigars were stored and displayed. These variables are similar to fine wines, which can also be very expensive to purchase. It is all of these variables that warrant a customer wanting to sample the product before making such a substantial purchase.

(3) The Legislature finds that exposure to second-hand smoke is inherent in the selling and sampling of cigars and pipe tobacco and that this exposure is inextricably connected to the nature of selling this legal product, similar to other inherent hazards in other professions and employment.

(4) It is the intent of the Legislature to allow cigar and pipe smoking in cigar shops that meet specific statutory criteria not inconsistent with the fundamental nature of the business. This exception to the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act is narrowly tailored in accordance with the intent of the act to protect public places and places of employment.

Cross References

  • Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act, see section 71-5716.