Nebraska Revised Statute 71-5730

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71-5730. Exemptions; legislative findings; legislative intent.

(1) The following indoor areas are exempt from section 71-5729:

(a) Guestrooms and suites that are rented to guests and that are designated as smoking rooms, except that not more than twenty percent of rooms rented to guests in an establishment may be designated as smoking rooms. All smoking rooms on the same floor shall be contiguous, and smoke from such rooms shall not infiltrate into areas where smoking is prohibited under the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act;

(b) Indoor areas used in connection with a research study on the health effects of smoking conducted in a scientific or analytical laboratory under state or federal law or at a college or university approved by the Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education;

(c) Tobacco retail outlets; and

(d) Cigar shops as defined in section 53-103.08.

(2)(a) The Legislature finds that allowing smoking in tobacco retail outlets as a limited exception to the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act does not interfere with the original intent that the general public and employees not be unwillingly subjected to second-hand smoke since the general public does not frequent tobacco retail outlets and should reasonably expect that there would be second-hand smoke in tobacco retail outlets and could choose to avoid such exposure. The products that tobacco retail outlets sell are legal for customers who meet the age requirement. Customers should be able to try them within the tobacco retail outlet, especially given the way that tobacco customization may occur in how tobacco is blended and cigars are produced. The Legislature finds that exposure to second-hand smoke is inherent in the selling and sampling of cigars and pipe tobacco and that this exposure is inextricably connected to the nature of selling this legal product, similar to other inherent hazards in other professions and employment.

(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to allow cigar and pipe smoking in tobacco retail outlets that meet specific statutory criteria not inconsistent with the fundamental nature of the business. This exception to the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act is narrowly tailored in accordance with the intent of the act to protect public places and places of employment.

(3)(a) The Legislature finds that allowing smoking in cigar shops as a limited exception to the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act does not interfere with the original intent that the general public and employees not be unwillingly subjected to second-hand smoke. This exception poses a de minimis restriction on the public and employees given the limited number of cigar shops compared to other businesses that sell alcohol, cigars, and pipe tobacco, and any member of the public should reasonably expect that there would be second-hand smoke in a cigar shop given the nature of the business and could choose to avoid such exposure.

(b) The Legislature finds that (i) cigars and pipe tobacco have different characteristics than other forms of tobacco such as cigarettes, (ii) cigars are customarily paired with various spirits such as cognac, single malt whiskey, bourbon, rum, rye, port, and others, and (iii) unlike cigarette smokers, cigar and pipe smokers may take an hour or longer to enjoy a cigar or pipe while cigarettes simply serve as a mechanism for delivering nicotine. Cigars paired with selected liquor creates a synergy unique to the particular pairing similar to wine paired with particular foods. Cigars are a pure, natural product wrapped in a tobacco leaf that is typically not inhaled in order to enjoy the taste of the smoke, unlike cigarettes that tend to be processed with additives and wrapped in paper and are inhaled. Cigars have a different taste and smell than cigarettes due to the fermentation process cigars go through during production. Cigars tend to cost considerably more than cigarettes, and their quality and characteristics vary depending on the type of tobacco plant, the geography and climate where the tobacco was grown, and the overall quality of the manufacturing process. Not only does the customized blending of the tobacco influence the smoking experience, so does the freshness of the cigars, which is dependent on how the cigars were stored and displayed. These variables are similar to fine wines, which can also be very expensive to purchase. It is all of these variables that warrant a customer wanting to sample the product before making such a substantial purchase.

(c) The Legislature finds that exposure to second-hand smoke is inherent in the selling and sampling of cigars and pipe tobacco and that this exposure is inextricably connected to the nature of selling this legal product, similar to other inherent hazards in other professions and employment.

(d) It is the intent of the Legislature to allow cigar and pipe smoking in cigar shops that meet specific statutory criteria not inconsistent with the fundamental nature of the business. This exception to the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act is narrowly tailored in accordance with the intent of the act to protect public places and places of employment.