Each year, anti-smoking laws get stricter. That makes it more difficult for cigar smokers and tobacco users to find places to indulge. Smoking laws are usually targeted towards cigarette, e-cigarette or vape users. When it comes to those who smoke cigars, the laws, rules and regulations get a little more complicated.
Government Lumps All Nicotine Use Together
Beverly Hills is an interesting case study in the ongoing debate. At present, it is illegal to smoke almost everywhere in the city limits. That includes apartments and condos. In 2019, Beverly Hills City Council proposed a new law. It will be one of the most stringent anti-tobacco laws in the country, if passed. The law, if enacted, will end the sale of all forms of nicotine (cigarettes, cigarillos, chewing tobacco and etc.). The exceptions are nicotine products. We’re talking about patches and gums that help smokers kick the habit.
When news of the impending law was released, the Beverly Hills City Council received a sea of letters. The city’s cigar lovers also visited council meetings in protest. Also, cigar smokers had support from one of the city’s high-profile residents. It was the former California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. In a letter to the City Council, Schwarzenegger wrote that he supported the ban. But, he highlighted the distinction between cigarettes and cigars. “I am right there with you,” said Schwarzenegger. “I agree with your battle to protect people from the dangers of tobacco smoke and I trust that (the city) will recognize the fundamental difference.”
After the wave of protests, lawmakers amended the bill. The amendment permits cigar smoking in three dedicated cigar lounges within city limits. Those lounges include the Grand Havana Room, Buena Vista Cigar Club, and Nazareth’s Fine Cigars.
Life Insurance Companies See the Difference
Even life insurance companies are starting to make distinctions between the two. Usually, life insurance rates for cigarette smokers and other tobacco users are higher. Recently, some life insurance companies are making special dispensation for cigar smokers. That’s especially true in cases of occasional cigar smoking. A small handful of progressive-thinking life insurance companies took it a step further. They are offering regular or daily cigar smokers standard non-tobacco rates. (Cigar Life Guy can help you with this). If you smoke regular cigarettes, then you can expect higher premiums. These premiums are often three times higher or more than those offered to a cigar only smokers.
It’s likely that more tobacco bans like these will start popping up elsewhere. Cigar smokers should take comfort in knowing that some are making distinctions. Lawmakers and life insurance companies can make the distinction. There is a difference between the long-term health risks of cigars versus cigarettes and other tobacco products.