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Stogie Commentary: Smoking for the Children

3 Feb 2009

It happens to me from time to time, and I’m sure it has happened to many of you too. You’re sitting at one of the increasingly rare bars that allow smoking, enjoying a cigar, and suddenly you’re being harassed by an anti-tobacco zealot.

Often they flap their hands around, pretending to cough as they wave smoke from their face. On rarer occasions they will confront you to loudly proclaim, “That stinks! Can’t you put it out?” They might even laughably suggest you are killing them or giving them lung cancer by smoking nearby.

I write “laughably,” by the way, because even government studies suggest non-smokers need to live with smokers for decades before any measurable increased risk is detected. So a few seconds, hours, or even days adds virtually zero risk. But I digress.

How to respond to such a person is not an easy question to answer. We cigar smokers are generally considerate people, so while telling them to buzz off with some choice words has its appeal, that’s not the route I usually take. Instead, I often just say sorry it offends you and go on smoking, or recommend a nearby bar that doesn’t allow smoking. If it’s not inconvienent for me I may even move to another part of the bar.

But since the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP ) is about to be funded through massive tax increases on tobacco, including roughly 40 cents per smoke for premium cigars, I’ve got a new reply to this annoying breed of anti-tobacco zealot: “I’m smoking this cigar for the children.”

After all, only with enough smoking will the government be able to pay for the SCHIP program. In fact, it is estimated that 22 million new smokers will be needed to fully fund the egregious scheme.

And that brings me to the final thing to say to the kind of person who would harass a complete stranger engaged in a perfectly legal activity. From now on, I plan on asking: “Why aren’t you smoking? Don’t you care about the children?”

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

18 Responses to “Stogie Commentary: Smoking for the Children”

  1. CWS Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 10:31 am #


  2. furious Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    That gets my vote for best post ever.

  3. Gilster Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    Smokers are the most philanthropic Americans that ever existed, if not for tobacco tax nothing apparently would get done in this country.

    Smoke:It's for the Children

    If you don't smoke, you hate children

    Buy a Lucky today: Congress is counting on you

  4. Hayward Tenney Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 11:50 am #

    Congratulations on an absolutely brilliant post!

  5. Cigar Inspector Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 3:38 pm #


  6. Marc E. Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 4:22 pm #

    Priceless…my humidor helps kids.

  7. idbigboy Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 10:30 pm #

    Who do you think you are? Albert Einstein couldn’t come up with this… This post brings a tear to my eye. It’s for the children smokem if you gottem!!

  8. Audrey Silk Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 11:46 pm #

    Patrick S., you're going to have to forgive me because I plan to "steal" your last line. We've all thought of the first — "I smoke for the children" — but that turn-it-back-on-them closer is too good a new one to not put into good use (visions of t-shirts and bumper stickers, etc.)

  9. Linus Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 6:22 am #

    LOL.. I love it! Would make a great bumper sticker 😉

  10. FrankEboy Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 8:50 am #


  11. Travis Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 8:54 am #

    This is an awesome post.

    I bet you that those sanctimonious jerks who pester you for smoking will be left completely speechless when you use that line on them. Please share when you finally do get to use that line.

  12. JohnnyO Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 1:06 pm #

    Obama signs it into law today…

    So whats next? Do we bend over and take this and other major tax increases, both state and federal? Or do we stand up and demand our government back off? Who knows…

  13. Andy Moose Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    Awesome post!

  14. CreekEnd Uk Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 7:46 am #

    I'm a UK reader where less than 0.1% smoke cigars and we pay a small fortune for cigars compared to the USA but I too smoke for my audience…… Cigars = relaxation = more space as others move further away.

    I love it.

  15. Mike D Monday, February 9, 2009 at 2:42 pm #

    Pure genius. Can't wait to use this one!

  16. Jon Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 5:10 am #

    Awesome post!

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