Less than two weeks. That’s how long Marshall McGearty’s Tobacco lounge on Milwaukee Avenue lasted once the January 1 smoking ban went into effect. “It has nothing to do with the ban, ” assures David Howard, spokesperson for RJ Reynolds, the establishment’s now former owner. According to Howard, Reynolds American Inc., the parent company of RJ Reynolds, decided to move all operations of its Super Premium Brand Unit (under which Marshall McGearty’s is included) to another of its subsidiaries, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company. It was a business decision, Howard contends, that was motivated entirely by the fact that Santa Fe Natural Tobacco has more in-depth marketing experience. Howard declined to speculate as to the direction in which that marketing experience may lead the brand, deferring all questions regarding the now-shuttered lounge’s fate to Mark Smith, vice president of communications at Santa Fe. “I don’t know if it will re-open,” says Howard. “I’ll let Mark handle that.” Calls to Smith were unreturned as of press time.