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Stogie Commentary: Pushing Back for Smokers’ Rights

22 Jun 2006

In the newest issue of Smoke Magazine, the editors discuss the new tactics of the anti-smoker choice crowd (hint: they no longer actually use the term “ban”) and also give us a timely reminder that while it is easy to get caught up in negative news (sometimes it seems like every day another restrictive smoking ban is passed), there is also some good news for cigar smokers looking to celebrate with a stogie:

According to the anti-smoking organization American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, more than 700 cities across the country have enacted ordinances to date that limit outdoor smoking. Many officials in these communities have gone to great length to justify that these controls are not bans, but rather “secondhand-smoke-control ordinances” and “public-health laws.”

The difference, they say, is that people aren’t being told they can’t smoke, but are merely being required to do so in designated areas. Well, thank goodness for that clarification.

And yet, despite all of the rhetoric, trends aren’t necessarily always moving in one direction. Consider PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, which unveiled a brand new cigar lounge on opening day this spring: The Montecristo Club, a joint effort of Montecristo maker Altadis U.S.A. and Southern Wine & Spirits. The lounge comes on the heals of last season’s cigar events which drew raves from cigar smokers and, of course, criticism from others. In the end, some semblance of reason prevailed, and a permanent option has returned for cigar lovers where none existed at all only two seasons back.

Finally, they suggest you check out two trade organiztions fighting these bans: the retailer Tobacco Dealers of America and the National Association of Tobacco Outlets.

I would also add that you should consider joining or starting a local group to fight anti-smoker choice groups. Here in Washington, a group called Ban the Ban led a courageous, yet ultimately unsucessful, effort to stop the DC smoking ban.

If groups like Ban the Ban spring up in opposition to every attempt to ban smoking, then politicians will be forced to recognize that these “secondhand-smoke-control ordinances” and “public-health laws” have real victims: mainly, the American principles of individual free choice and personal responsibility.

-Patrick S


2 Responses to “Stogie Commentary: Pushing Back for Smokers’ Rights”

  1. Anonymous Thursday, June 22, 2006 at 12:14 pm #

    Smokers of the world unite!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. The Stogie Guys » Blog Archive » Stogie News: Stogie Guys Airlines - Monday, December 18, 2006

    […] Unfortunately according to the BBC, so far there are only plans for a Dusseldorf-Tokyo route, but with all the news about smoking bans, it’s great to hear some good news for a change. Hopefully Smintair will be such a huge success that Americans will one day have the opportunity to enjoy a fine stogie while cruising at 30,000 feet. […]