Cigar aficionados soon might have places in Washington where they can legally light their stogies indoors.
The state Senate in a 26-21 vote Tuesday passed a bill by Sen. Jerome Delvin, R-Richland, making an exemption to the state's indoor smoking ban for cigar rooms and tobacconists. The bill moves to the House.
The bill establishes a special license endorsement for up to 100 cigar rooms, which would each pay $17,500 for a state endorsement.
Up to 500 tobacco shops would have the option to pay $6,000 each to allow indoor cigar and pipe smoking.
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Any place where cigar smoking is allowed would be physically separated from places where smoking is banned by law. Cigarettes would not be allowed. Applicants also would need a valid liquor license.
The tobacconist endorsement would be allowed only for businesses with the primary purpose of selling tobacco and tobacco-related paraphernalia.