[Washington, DC — January 18, 2023] The Premium Cigar Association (PCA) actively supported the Waco Texas City Council’s effort to reverse a ban on opening new cigar lounges that passed unanimously last night. PCA’s Director of State Advocacy, Glynn Loope, sent letters of support to the Council and Mayor’s office showcasing how the ordinance would generate local economic opportunity and ultimately create small businesses and jobs.
Previously, an existing ordinance banned smoking in bars, restaurants, and other businesses except for lounges operating before July 15, 2015, and is an example of policy championed by anti-tobacco interest groups. The new law allows cigar lounges to operate that generate at least half their revenue from the sales of cigars for on-site consumption.
“This is a step in the right direction for the City of Waco, the entire state of Texas, and hopefully other cities like Louisville, Kentucky among others could follow suit. The association’s advocacy is not only on behalf of our existing membership, but also future members who wish to open a new cigar shop or lounge. These aspiring small business owners should be afforded the same opportunities as existing establishments,” said Glynn Loope.
“All across the country you have states and localities that adopted laws unintentionally prohibiting in-door cigar smoking in age verified venues based on an arbitrary date. It makes practical policy sense for cities like Waco and other communities to reverse these laws to afford adult consumer choice and small business development despite the opposition of a handful of tobacco prohibitionists from outside interest groups,” said Joshua Habursky, Deputy Executive Director and Head of Government Affairs.
The ordinance doesn’t become official until 10 days after council’s vote. Interested business owners meeting the ordinance’s requirements will be able to apply in the coming weeks to operate new cigar lounges.