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Mandan city commissioners approve "cigar bar" ordinance

Mandan Mayor Tim Helbling
City of Mandan
Mandan Mayor Tim Helbling

The Mandan City Commission has approved allowing cigar bars.

The 2023 Legislature passed a measure to create a “cigar bar” exemption from the state’s “clean air” law. That law was passed by voters in 2012, and does not allow smoking in public places.

Mandan resident Greg Gallagher told the Commission it had three options – let the state law take effect, pass a “tightly controlled” ordinance, or ban smoking altogether.

"The state law was basically an initiative on the part of the state Legislature, as a way of 'clawing back' what happened in 2012, when the state's electorate, through an initiative, voted in what became the state's 'Clean Air Act,'" Gallagher told the Commission. "That was a 67 percent vote."

Mandan Mayor Tim Helbling said he preferred the city have an ordinance to put some controls on cigar bars.

"We could table it, and somebody could open a cigar lounge tomorrow, and there's nothing we could do about it," Helbling said. "I would much rather we go forward with some restrictions, and try to control it. We have tried to make sure that if someone is going to open one of these, it isn't as big a danger to those around them — the other citizens of Mandan."

The Commission’s vote was 3 to 2.

Big Stick Cigars asked the City in July to approve adding a cigar bar.

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