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Where There's Smoke . . .

One entrepreneur feels the heat of anti-smoking laws.

This story appears in the February 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Nearly 100 areas around the country have decreed that smoking inbars and restaurants, and often public places period, is outlawed.But what if you own, say, a cigar bar? Is it right that youaren't legally allowed to let your customers use a perfectlylegal, if unhealthy, substance under your own roof? Nick Sandersdoesn't believe so. The entrepreneur behind theCincinnati-based Tavern Restaurant Group has plenty ofnonsmoking eateries in Cincinnati and in Lexington and Maysville,Kentucky. But he also owns Nicholson's Cigar Bar, housed in hisrestaurant deSha's, in Lexington-the heart of tobacco country.At press time, an appeal was pending to a case that would rendersmoking in public places illegal in Lexington-which meansSanders' cigar bar may well be snuffed out.

If the ban is upheldby the courts, and people come to your cigar bar and light upanyway, will you call the police on them? And, by the way, do yousmoke?

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