Friday, October 3, 2008

Outlawing Tobacco 2.0

This morning I awoke to find out that TU is the cover story for October's Smokeshop Magazine: this was a thrill and a privilege. Then, I had to put my retail Tobacconist 'hat' back on and do exactly two things for my stores. First, I had to fill out fourteen pages of information for the state of PA, print another 12, make copies and then drive all the way to Pennsylvania to use a notary, then mail these documents to the Department of Health to get permission to smoke in my PA store - even though we are clearly exempted from the law. The state was kind enough to notify us of the paperwork requirement over a month after it was due. The second retail task I did today was to print and frame this (pictured) sign for my Princeton, New Jersey store. It will go in the space where we used to display flavored cigarettes, which have now been outlawed.

We are now transitioning from Outlawing Tobacco 1.0 to 2.0. As cigar and pipe smokers, we are only about 5% of the population.... so our rights can be taken away quickly! Sadly, I do not think a democracy based on the value of human freedoms should so easily take away human freedoms. So, I continue to believe that all retail Tobacconists are great American freedom fighters... underdogs on the front lines of a great battle for justice. Not just smokers' rights, but all individuals' rights, in our pursuit of happiness. Smoking is the 'gateway' civil right, and it has been demonized and beaten into submission.

Ultimately, the only way to win back our freedom is to EARN CREDIBILITY. At TU we are proactively doing that through Certification .... and more: if we want a positive future, we will have to work hard for it.

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