There should be no exception for cigar bars

June 4, 2011

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THE GLOBE editorial “Local power goes up in smoke’’ (June 1) argues that cigar bars should be an exception to smoking bans in public places because everyone expects that smoke will be present there. Of course, this is the same argument that we heard when smoking bans were first proposed for bars, restaurants, airplanes, and numerous other public places.

The Globe ignores the fact that allowing cigar bars condones job sites where workers are expected to be exposed to carcinogens as a condition of employment. No worker should have to work in such conditions.

In addition, deciding to close cigar bars is not a choice between jobs and no jobs. Whenever a cigar bar is closed, some other enterprise will eventually move into that location and provide jobs that do not poison its workers.

The Globe also does not mention how cigar bars are a wonderful marketing tool for the tobacco industry. The industry has always tried to associate tobacco use with fun, independence, adventure. Cigar bars promote themselves with these same associations, thus glamorizing a serious public health problem.

The Federal Trade Commission reports that the tobacco industry spends more than $15 billion every year promoting tobacco products in the United States alone. Cigar bars are a part of that promotion.

Andrew Rouse