On November 6, 2012, North Dakota voters chose to put a stronger smoke free, state law in place, while Missouri voters rejected Proposition B’s tobacco tax hike.
Voters throughout the state of North Dakota voiced their support for making their state the 24th state to require all non-hospitality workplaces, restaurants and bars to be 100% smoke free. The new smoking law also requires all gaming and gambling facilities to be 100% smoke free. The law makes all public places including: bars, truck stops, hotels gambling facilities, child care facilities as well as retail tobacco stores to be smoke free. Violators will be fined up to $50 while bar owners and retail tobacco store owners that are caught violating the law will have their liquor and tobacco licenses revoked. Cigar smokers argue that the new smoking ban will harm small businesses and restrict personal choices.
Missouri voters rejected Proposition B which would have increased state tax on cigars by up to 15% if passed. Missouri smoke shop owners were concerned that if the proposition passed that they would have to close their shops. Currently tobacco shops in Missouri draw a lot of out-of-state smokers to their stores but if Prop B passed, customers would start purchasing their products closer to home. According to a study by a University of Missouri professor, the state would have lost more than $67 million in sales tax revenue because people who come to the state to buy smokes would just stay home and Missouri smokers would buy fewer cigars.
It’s important that we stand up for our rights and continue to make our voices heard in order to protect the things we love. We encourage you to visit http://www.cigarrights.org/main.php to learn more about what you can do to protect the world of premium cigars!