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A Smoke Filled Room

I’ve been known to smoke a cigar. I even have my own humidor, so it probably goes without saying that I’ve got nothing against people lighting up for a smoke. Yet, this is just a perfect illustration of what’s wrong with the legislative need to always pass new laws (subscription):

Come the 2007 legislative session, there will still be a smoke-filled room near the state Capitol.

Santa Fe’s anti-smoking ordinance that went into effect over the summer hasn’t stopped the Rio Chama Steakhouse— hard by the Roundhouse on Old Santa Fe Trail— from opening an upscale cigar bar where a single cigar costs from $9 to $42.

Kelly Torres, assistant manager of the restaurant, provided a tour of “The Humidor” on Tuesday and said the 3-month-old cigar bar has become a popular place for tourists, locals and government officials to hang out.

“It’s been more popular since we are the only place where smoking is permitted,” Torres said. “The same faces you would see at our bar are the same faces you would see in The Humidor.”

Special interest loopholes aren’t just for big business. The smoking bans should have never been passed, and this is a perfect example of why we need less laws instead of more. Consider this example when you read how many new state laws are introduced this upcoming legislative session.