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Washington Man Chooses Life of Mooching, Martinis, Macanudos


Int’l Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers

2008-03-28 13:02:00

Washington Man Chooses Life of Mooching, Martinis, Macanudos

SEATTLE, WA–( EMWNews – March 28, 2008) – Washington’s Keith Robbins loves mooching,

martinis and Macanudos almost as much as he appreciates fairness and the

freedom of personal choice.

Robbins is one of Washington state’s greatest salmon guides and an expert

moocher (light tackle saltwater fishing). He also owns Tini Bigs, a

martini bar that he calls the ‘second best cocktail lounge’ in Seattle. He

is living a life most men would envy, but he misses his premium cigars and

the right to smoke them in his bar.

Tini Bigs was a cigar bar before the Washington smoking ban took effect in

2005. The ban is among the most stringent in the nation. The bar’s

business dropped nearly 30% in the first three months following the ban and

has been flat ever since.

Now Robbins is helping to gather 225,000 signatures of registered voters by

June 30 in order to get Initiative 1016 on the November 8 ballot. I1016

would permit smoking in cigar bars, cigar stores and private clubs.

“The current ban is not fair to owners and customers of cigar stores and

cigar bars and members of private clubs. These are locations that cater

strictly to adults who want to be able to enjoy a perfectly legal product

— tobacco, generally, and premium cigars, specifically. No one would go

into a cigar store or cigar bar and not expect smoking to be permitted.”

Robbins emphasized that the so-called Cigar Bar Relief Act of 2008 is very

narrow in its exemptions to the smoking ban which will otherwise remain in

full effect.

According to the initiative, in order to qualify as a cigar bar, the

business’ food sales must be incidental and it needs to generate at least

$25,000 in annual sales of cigars. Private facilities would have equally

daunting requirements to be exempted from the ban if they so choose, except

when they are occasionally open to the public when smoking would not be


“Before this can happen, we need all registered voters — smokers and

non-smokers alike — to express themselves by signing our petitions to get

the initiative on the ballot,” Robbins urged. “This is as much a matter of

supporting personal rights and fairness as anything else.”

Petitions are available throughout the state at most smoke shops, private

clubs like the VFW, American Legion and Eagles and at former cigar bars

like Tini Bigs. They are also available online at, the

website of the Cigar Association of Washington, said Robbins.

“It’s important to remember that the initiative does not overturn the

existing ban,” said Dale Taylor, a tobacconist with Rain City Cigars in

Seattle andpresident of the Cigar Association of Washington which is

coordinating the campaign for the initiative.

Taylor is urging all Washington residents who are registered voters to sign

the petitions by June 30 to get the measure placed on November’s ballot.

Tony Tortorici

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