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Permits new cigar lounges to be opened under certain circumstances.


Sponsored by: Assemblyman WAYNE P. DEANGELO District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex), Assemblyman HAROLD "HAL" J. WIRTHS District 24 (Morris, Sussex and Warren)


This bill would authorize a municipality to adopt an ordinance allowing certain new cigar lounges within the municipality that are exempt from the provisions of the “New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act.” The ordinance would set forth how many such lounges may open and operate within the municipality. If a municipality adopts such an ordinance, a prospective cigar lounge would have to apply to the local board of health in the municipality for a registration to open and operate in the municipality. The local board of health could only grant such application if the lounge will: not sell or serve food or alcoholic beverages, except at certain private events not open to the public; not be located within a bar or restaurant; have an entrance distinct from any other establishment; be directly accessible by the public; be equipped with an exhaust system appropriate to ensure worker and customer safety; and not permit the use of hookahs. Under current law, only a cigar bar or lounge that opened before December 31, 2004 could be registered with the local board of health, and be exempted from the provisions of the “New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act.”

The bill would require a new cigar lounge to renew its registration after one year, and each year thereafter. The local board of health could only renew a registration if the cigar lounge generates 15 percent or more of its total annual gross income from the on-site sale of tobacco products and the rental of on-site humidors, not including any sales from vending machines, continues to comply with all the requirements of the initial registration, replaces the filter of the exhaust system, and does not expand its size or change its location. If a cigar lounge fails to have its registration renewed, its owner would not be permitted to register another cigar lounge.

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