Tuesday, May 26, 2009

National Nestor Miranda Cigar Day: Friday June, 12

Miami Cigar & Co. and Nestor Miranda will be celebrating their 20th Anniversary on Friday June 12th at over 500 retail tobacconists across America. Any customer who purchases ANY cigar at a participating tobacconist will receive ONE Nestor Miranda Special Selection Danno 20th Aniversario cigar for free; as a token of Miami Cigar & Co.’s appreciation and their commitment to consumers and tobacconists. This could be the biggest and best giveaway our industry has ever seen! And it could not come from a more extraordinary group of people and company.

Miami Cigar & Co. is the world’s only fully certified salesforce of CST. Both their in-house staff, salesforce, and Nestor Miranda himself are all TU Certified Tobacconists. Their leadership, generosity, and commitment to consumers and tobacconists is unparalleled in this industry.
You can visit Nestor Miranda Cigars to find a participating retail tobacconist.

In my continuing efforts to be brief, I will refrain from writing a book here… but I would like to add that there are few companies or people with the character and integrity of the Miranda family and Miami Cigar & Co. All you have to do is google Nestor and/or Miami Cigar & Co. or read through the Cigar Aficionado archives to learn what character and perseverance are all about. Congratulations to them on 20 years of excellence… we are looking forward to the next 20!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Voice of Freedom

# 53
2009-05-20 15:00:42
Tomasch, Nathan

"As a proud member of a nation founded upon freedoms that once were the envy of all other nations, I am distraught over the over-reach of current tobacco laws. Regulation of the sale and use of a legal product should be minimal and logical and it is my perception that the current taxation and penalty conducted in regards to tobacco usage is skewed and unevenly discriminatory towards the tobacco smoker. The details can be discussed later. At hand now is the final bastion of tobacco use that isn't marred by a false sense of shame and guilt; the tobacconist's. Surely consumption of tobacco at an establishment catering to such would seem self-evident! Any attempt to cease the legal and adult consumption of tobacco at a tobacconist's will be met by fierce protest and resistance. Even us smokers, self-apologetic and crippled by law, will not tolerate this final offense to our civil liberties and legal choice."

I think this comment says it best... posted here with permission from Mr. Tomasch. Sign the TPA.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cigar Culture Wars

This week Cigar Rights of America (CRA) reported that the Cancer Action Network (lobbyists for American Cancer Society*) are about to spend $3 million dollars over the next few months to lobby the administration and Congress to increase taxes on cigars and other tobacco products. Absurdly, this is happening just weeks after the S-CHIP tobacco tax increases that will fund health care for people making under $80,000 per year. The Campaign for Tobacco Free kids noted, "There is plenty of room to go [for taxes] for cigars and smokeless."

You must see by now that tobacco taxation is not really about using the money to recoup societal costs incurred by smokers. Sadly, it is estimated that only 5% of tobacco tax money is used for health care, cigarette cessation and education programs! Clearly, this level of extreme taxation is a punitive measure used to penalize a minority of people who do not conform to 'dictated' norms. In fact, the de-normalization of smokers is nearly complete as in California it is almost illegal to smoke outdoors on public sidewalks. And the hysteria and lies regarding second hand smoke has people believing smokers are dangerous and dirty people. Yet, any open-minded person who has ever read beyond the first page of the Surgeon's General report on ETS must find smoking bans perplexing and unjustified.

Sadly, tobacco taxes and smoking bans will continue to increase because they are politically expedient. Over the last two decades our economic, political, scientific, and ideological arguments have failed to preserve individual, business owner, and tobacco user rights. Just take a look at how many republicans vote for smoking bans, declining rates of return on increased taxation, and the fact that smoking rates are relatively flat.

The increased persecution and taxation of tobacco users defies logic. It is about ideology. This is a cultural war against a certain 'kind' of people. And apparently, I am one of those people. Yet, cigar smokers only represent about 5% of the population - we are a bonafide underdog. That means each of us will need to convince at least 11 people to respect and support our freedoms, just to survive. In addition, as cigar and pipe smokers, we must proactively support the CRA as they are our infantry which battles the local, state, and federal government on a daily basis.

However, winning political battles will not be enough either. The anti-smoking movement is funded and organized beyond reason and comparison to any other political farce (sp?). They have waged a cultural war and we must meet them with commensurate force. The only force capable of resisting this movement is the value of freedom, inherent to being American. And the only way to change the culture is through education. So, Tobacconist University continues to build and project the credibility of our industry - endeavoring to preserve luxury tobacco for generations to come. There is a lot of work to be done and we must start yesteryear. Please join the CRA, convince 11 people to respect you, and get educated - sign the TPA, share & communicate, and learn something.

* Yes, it's true, American cancer has a society and lobbyists. And if they have their way, all of the delicious carcinogens and smoke surrounding this steak will eventually be taxed, controlled, and eliminated as well.