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Court issues El Gaucho VIP cigar lounge a permanent ban on smoking

Post by C.R. Roberts / The News Tribune on Dec. 2, 2010 at 11:03 am with 18 Comments »
December 2, 2010 11:03 am

There will be no smoking of cigars by VIPs, or anyone else, at Tacoma’s El Gaucho.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department this morning released a press statement saying that El Gaucho Tacoma has agreed to a permanent injunction that bans smoking in its facility.
“We see this as an important step for the health of Washington State residents, most of whom don’t smoke, and who overwhelmingly voted to approve Washington’s Smoking in Public Places Act,” stated Anthony Chen, department director. 
Earlier this year the department sued to close the smoking lounge, which had recently opened after renovations that owner Paul Mackay said he believed satisfied restrictions in the state’s 2005 non-smoking law.

“When the owners failed to comply with several requests, and a letter of compliance from the Health Department, they were served with an injunction to stop allowing smoking in the lounge. On April 23, 2010 a Pierce County Superior Court issued a preliminary injunction against El Gaucho Tacoma and the VIP Lounge,” the department said.
Calls to Mackay this morning have yet to be answered. 

Leave a comment Comments → 18
  1. fbergford says:

    Question…there is a bar in Olympia called Frankies and there are two sections to it. An upstairs and a downstairs, the downstairs is open to the public, no smoking, but the upstairs is for members only and it is smoking…now why can’t El Gaucho do that?

  2. BlaineCGarver says:

    Another freedom falls to Policical Correctness. I no longer smoke, and think it unwise to do so, but that should be an individual choice, not a mandate. This is, after all, a legal product.

  3. madmike272 says:

    Washington is ruled by a pack of leftist morons. the place is a damned cigar loungs. Looking forward to the big quake to cull the socialist herd.

  4. You can smoke all you want at the cigar lounge on 72nd & Waller. It’s in a foreign country so Washington laws do not apply. Just tip the border guards a bit and they will let you in and out without a passport. Try a Macanudo Robusto – very nice!

  5. more nanny state from an overstepping health department

  6. tomwa007 says:

    Pierce County will not even enforce the 25 foot from the building rule. At least they are not letting the over privileged that can afford El Gaucho subvert the law even if they think they deserve private status.

  7. lgcnelson84 says:

    “We see this as an important step for the health of Washington State residents, most of whom don’t smoke, and who overwhelmingly voted to approve Washington’s Smoking in Public Places Act,”

    Yes, but people who go to the cigar lounge WANT to be there, they WANT to smoke and be around it. They’re not bothering non-smokers.

    I personally don’t appreciate when someone else tries to tell me what I want, it’s absurd!

  8. gonefishin69690 says:

    Pretty soon, you’ll get fined for farting in a public building

  9. How does smoking on private property, in a room in Tacoma, impact the health of residents in Spokane?

    How does banning such smoking improve the health of residents in Spokane?

    Is Anthony Chen as stupid as he sounded in that statement?

  10. JeffTacoma says:

    I guess no one here gets it. The law is to protect the workers, just like any other workplace. If you work in a hazardous air enviroment, you must be protected by your employer with special equipment. The waiters and waitresses do not deserve to get cancer because you want to smoke. Don’t give me that crap about they can quit, know what they get paid? Why protect longshoremen and not them?
    Now, they could open the room if they gave the staff haz-mats suits to protect them, but they won’t do that because it would remind you smokers that you are dumb.

  11. Are you kidding me…protect the workers…really?!?! Don’t work there if you don’t want to be exposed to smoke, it’s as simple as that…that’s the most ridiculous argument ever. This state drives me crazy…I’m sooooooooo sick of the legislation in the state, it doesn’t matter what is passed; the lefties in Olympia and Seattle and half of Tacoma will defend it no matter how ridiculous it is…Traffic light cameras, cell phones in cars, giving raises to employees while the rest of us struggle just to find work, the list goes on. That’s fine, hopefully we’ll see legislation sometime soon on how I should tie my shoes, I could use a little help there too, wouldn’t want to trip and scrape my knee…

  12. What we have here is a failure to communicate. “quote from Cool Hand Luke” The government is going to watch out for you whether you want them to or not. I honestly don’t know how I managed to survive this long without the people in government being there to watch out for me. I guess creating a social climate where like thinking people get together to enjoy those dastardly cigars is just to much for non smokers to bear. I don’t smoke. I think it stinks…. so I wouldn’t go to El Gouchos smoking parlor, but I wouldn’t presume to tell someone who does enjoy the cigar and company of others who also enjoy them, that they don’t have the right to do it, especially when steps have been taken to separate them from non smokers. Far too intrusive into personal liberties in my opinion.

  13. nwindependent says:

    This is how the death of freedom begins….

  14. JeffTacoma says:

    I’m not going to pay to treat El Gaucho’s workers for cancer with my taxes, they can just protect their workers like everyone else. You all don’t seem to mind when government health inspectors stop e-coli from getting into your Jack in the Box burger, or when bridge inspectors keep your highway bridge from falling on you on the way home, or when fire inspectors insist that the bar you are drinking in doesn’t blow up in your face. Why not get rid of all that too? You are too hypocritical to believe.

  15. JeffTacoma says:

    By the way, invite your smoking friends to your home and go at it all you want, just don’t foist it off on workers who can’t afford to quit their jobs.

  16. MadTaxpayer says:

    That is too bad! I would enjoy a nice smooooooooooth cigar indoors. Such a simple pleasure.
    This State is really sucking the life and money out of me.
    I will miss living here!

  17. jpublic says:

    It takes really sick people to want to control the habits of others. I guess they don’t believe people should have freedom of choice. If one wants smoke free, great find smoke free, but if one wants smoking they should be able to make that choice. But then, these are the same liberal control freaks who freaked out over a candy tax but gladly allowed a unfair tobacco tax even knowing over weight people cost more medically than smokers. The amazing thing is how short sighted and easily led their followers are.

  18. justbusdriver says:

    Is it not interesting the the health department is busy protecting and eager to give out pipes and needles to street dope smokers and druggies but cigars are the ‘in’ taboo? We condone and welcome medicinal pot havens and ‘dispensaries’ but celebrate clamping down on the crime of smoking a stogy in a private venue where client and workers freely associate?

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