Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Certified Medallion: Leveraging TU


We tell all TU Apprentices and Certified Tobacconists that getting Certified and passing the final exam is just the beginning of the process, albeit the hardest. Ultimately, Certification must be leveraged by wearing the Certified Pin and using the Certified Medallion, on business cards, store signage, and your website. After all, if you get Certified and never mention it to your customers, co-workers, vendors, and the community around you, then the benefits will never materialize. While TU is no magic bullet for what ails our industry, the ability to leverage it is a massive competitive advantage.

PS: every CRT store gets a framed diploma with their logo, store signage stickers, and the right to use the Certified Medallion as long as they maintain one CRT. Individual CRT receive the Certified Pin, a personal diploma, mouse pad, and more...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Tobacconist Handbook Proof


The Tobacconist Handbook Proof has arrived. And, it is indeed proof of our credibility and professionalism. These 205 pages, 120+ custom images/graphics, and 41,000+ words took almost fifteen years to create and then another 2,000 hours to distill into a handbook. I could not be more excited to preview it here for you. Thank you to all of the well-wishers and inquirers; it will be available in September 2009 and you will definitely be hearing more about it in the months to come. Please sign up for our email list (top left) to get the latest and greatest news!

Take a sneak peak at the PadrĂ³n Foreword.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

TU Pays CRT $100


Today we cut our first check to a CRT for certifying a consumer (CCT). While the $100 check may not lift us out of the current economic crisis, this is nonetheless an historic occassion. CRT around the world can certify consumers and earn $100 for doing practically nothing! Pure profit (less postage)!! This is what we mean when we say TU creates "new value and opportunities". So, in the tradition of retailers framing their first dollar bill, we are posting our first $100 check written to a CRT for certifying a CCT. This is just the beginning and we could not be more proud than to create value and profit for retail tobacconists.

FYI: you can read all about CCT here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

National Media Honors Certified Tobacconists

Certified Tobacconists from across the country received national media recognition for their accomplishments in a news report today:


Gaining positive media attention is a rare thing indeed these days, and important to projecting and preserving the honor and credibility of the luxury tobacco industry. Congratulations to everyone who has been certified and was mentioned in the article. Thank you for your support and enthusiasm. And thanks to all our apprentices. We look forward to certifying all of you and watching this list grow!

Sickening Health Industry


Over the last few weeks the FDA has come out against the use of e-cigarettes, and the state of Oregon has banned them, even though these products are estimated to be 1400 times safer than regular cigarettes (see for further enlightenment). Meanwhile, a study was just released showing that the use of antidepressants in America has doubled over the last decade. Antidepressants are the drugs that affect serotonin levels, a.k.a. the pleasure center of the brain. Perhaps this is what people turn to when they are scared into giving up natural delicacies like tobacco (see Pills vs. Cigars)... I don't know the reasons why, but clearly there is something wrong with a society that needs to medicate so many people just to be functional. I can empathize with anyone taking these drugs, but I am ashamed to live in a world where they are so prevalent and the real drug pushers are multi-national pharmaceutical companies (the same companies that push nicotine replacement products - not including e-cigarettes though).

I hope we can get back to a place where a stiff drink, good cigar, or long night of shagging can cure what ails us.... Let's remember that we have lived on this planet for thousands of years without the aid of pharmaceuticals and there are many natural and traditional values and practices that can enrich and balance our lives; they include, but are not limited to: great food, wine, chocolate, tobacco, sex, sunshine, long walks, relaxation, being around the water, nature, excercise, friends and family. Perhaps, the only thing getting in the way of real pleasure and happiness is the sensationalized and fear mongering news media and health organizations which want us to buy their products. I think there was a time when doctors and health organizations were admired and trusted by the citizenry... but for me, that time has passed; I am sickened by the health industry and the fact that they never cure anything.... What do you think?