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Contest: Win Cigars and Do Good

2 Jan 2012

How often do you get the chance to strike a blow for democracy, support your hobby, and win cigars? Well, step right up. Here’s your opportunity.

But before we get to the contest, I must confess that I had been trying to come up with a giveaway idea ever since I received a two-cigar “Blogger Edition” pack of the new Montecristo New York Connoisseur Edition (review here). I was also thinking about trying once again to generate more support for legislation barring the Food & Drug Administration from regulating premium handmade cigars when—voilà!—I realized could shamelessly combine the two.

If you’re a regular Stogie Guys reader, you know we’re big supporters of this bill. Passage would be a landmark event. And we need everyone to join the effort.

So, how does this contest tie in? Well, it begins with the assumption that Stogie Guys readers are honorable folks because we’ll take your word that you did what needs to be done before you enter. And what do you need to do? Simply contact your representative and/or senators to urge support of the legislation in their chamber and leave a comment here. If both your senators and your representative have signed on (currently possible only in Florida), just note that in your comment. If you’ve already appealed to your elected officials, write that in your comment.

For those who haven’t acted, here are links to make it easy. If you don’t know your representative, go here. You’ll also find a link to the rep’s website that includes contact info. Then, to find out whether he or she is a cosponsor of the bill, known as HR1639, click on Thomas. Go to “Legislation in Current Congress” in the middle of the page, highlight the “Bill Number” button, type HR1639 in the window, and click SEARCH. On the new page, click Cosponsors. If your rep’s name isn’t there, you need to get in touch.

My strong preference would be for you to compose your own email or postal letter, or call the office rather than sign a petition or use a form letter urging support for HR1639. Your own words have much more impact. Again, though, how you do it is up to you. You can find more on the bills by searching Stogie Guys and checking in at Cigar Rights of America.

For the Senate, it’s pretty straightforward. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced the bill (S1461) and his GOP counterpart, Marco Rubio, is a cosponsor. The only others signed on are Democrat Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. You’ll find senators by state with contact information here.

When you’re done, leave a comment. We’ll keep it open for a week and then randomly select a winner of the two Montecristo New York Connoisseur Edition cigars. Please enter only once. Be sure to include your email address in the appropriate field so we can contact you if you win. And if you’re interested, here’s the fine print.

Good luck. This is one contest where we can all be winners.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

43 Responses to “Contest: Win Cigars and Do Good”

  1. Greg Bruen Monday, January 2, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    Stogie Guys-
    Good Morning and Happy New Year! I made my voice heard a month or so ago and hopefully others will too. Thanks for hosting the contest.
    Long Ashes to All,

  2. mickey Monday, January 2, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    Happy new year, thanks for the contest. Yep, I wrote my congressman and now I am on his shitty email list lol.

  3. Kevin Monday, January 2, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    I wrote all my representatives a while back. Hopefully these bills don't pass as it would be a huge hit to the industry.


  4. Tom Drumm Monday, January 2, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    I live in FL. Both my Senators and my Rep (Connie Mack) have signed on.

    Thanks Guys,


  5. Joseph Monday, January 2, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    I have also contacted all my representatives of NC to stop this bill because I am new into cigars and would like to be able to continue in this hobby for years to come.

  6. Nick Holloway Monday, January 2, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    I wrote my senators & representative a couple months ago. I got an email response from 2 out of 3 of them. Hopefully it did some good.

  7. Jason Monday, January 2, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    I did this a few times already! I'm growing very weary of a few key individuals' meddling prohibition tactics that are both morally reprehensible and ineffective in stopping people from enjoying what is in their basic rights to enjoy. Aren't there more important things to go after in this country, like illegal drugs and violence that are revaging entire communities?! Cigars are fine pieces of labor intensive craftsmanship, not some illegal junk grown in someone's backyard trailor! These bills are just plain wrong and we MUST stand up and join together to stop this ideologically driven nonsense. Let's stand together in beating back these oppressive efforts until we win in securing our God-given rights!

  8. Chris Monday, January 2, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    I live in MD and have written my rep and senators. I actually got a nice response from my rep (Chris Van Hollen), who I didn't expect to be sympathetic. I don't think he's a cosponsor but his letter suggested he understands the problem and views cigars as a legitimate adult passtime.

  9. Paul Monday, January 2, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Wrote to my House Rep., Howard Cole, who has already cosponsored the bill and both Senators, Richard Burr and Kay Hagen, neither of which have signed on time the Senate version yet.

  10. Adam Monday, January 2, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    I live in LA and have contacted my state officials about this twice already!

  11. Jake Monday, January 2, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    Great contest! I’ve contacted my Representative and he’s on board (John Sullivan, OK). His office even sent me an e-mail letting me know when he signed on to it. Both of my Senators receive e-mails from me daily and have since August of last year. Keep at it, people!

  12. Brian Palmer Monday, January 2, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    Happy New Year to all. I contacted my congressmen here in Ohio just last week. I am happy to find out Rep Renacci is a cosposnor. I am hoping Senator's Brown and Portman will get onboard. Is anyone else tired of government wanting to take on little issues and doing nothing about the important one's? Still the greatest country in the world!

  13. Foe Monday, January 2, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    My Rep, Dan Benishek, has signed onto the House bill but neither of my Senators have signed onto their respective bill…that hasn't stopped me from continuing the email campaign via CRA, however!

  14. Robert Monday, January 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    I already wrote them a while back. Only heard back from one, but she sounded sympathetic – though noncommittal – in her letter. Anyway, thanks for the contest.

  15. Darrel Monday, January 2, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    I contacted them and the only one who is 1000% against it is my stinkin mustache representative. He told me that he is against it because of the children and I told him that I am smoking for the children. 🙂

  16. Joe Monday, January 2, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    I have contacted my congress people here in AZ and have been a supporter of the CRA through the membership/cigar sample packs I was able to find at Carona Cigar Co. out of Orlando, FL.

  17. Friday Monday, January 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    I called and sent emails. I was pleased with my response from a few of my Louisiana Senators. And to be honest I had my doubts of one Senator but she was very supportive of the Premium Tobacco Industry.


  18. Chris Monday, January 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    I contacted my Rep. and both Sens. One of my Senators, Harkin (D-IA) wrote me a nice little note basically saying 'fat chance' as he is the Chairman of the HELP committee (the committee before which this particular piece of legislation is currently pending).

  19. Brett Harrington Monday, January 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    Sent two emails to each of my Representatives here in Kansas and got good responses from Mike Pompeo(R) in support of our cause. I was very surprised when I received a personal(or seemingly personal) message from him in a timely manner. First post from me but a long time reader, thanks for all you guys do.

    Brett Harrington
    Wichita, Kansas

  20. Brian Vander Werf Monday, January 2, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    I have sent two sets of letters through the CRA web site. We must prevail! It takes all of us to participate.

    From Chattanooga wishing everyone a Happy New Year!


  21. Brent Monday, January 2, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

    My rep in Indiana is a co-sponsor! Emails sent to both senators. We need more Indiana people for support. Indy is still trying for this smoking ban, so I'm not sure our reps will vote pro business as we are known for.

    • Brent Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

      Letter back from our Sr. Senator…says he'll "follow the progress of the legislation." Reply said nothing of where he stands, so that tells me more people need to contact their reps, otherwise we could be left to the "common sense of the elected"…which, I don't believe has been known to exist together at the same time! 🙂

  22. Fred Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 1:03 am #

    Mailed my rep (Betty Sutton) as well as Senators Brown and Portman.

  23. Jonathan Bowman Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 1:43 am #

    Happy New Years! I have made my voice heard a few times, am a proud member of CRA, and am coming from Virginia!


  24. steven diaz Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    SC leaders have heard my voice!!
    Semper Fi


  25. foozer69 Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    i contacted my reps !!!

  26. Jimcos30 Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    Glad to help this great cause… contacted my reps! ____Jim

  27. Corey B Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    I contacted my reps. I only got a generic response

  28. Swede214 Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    I have left messages for Senator's Dick Durbin, Mark Kirk, Congresswoman Judy Biggert, Congressman Randy Hultgren from Illinois. I asked the person that answered the phone to please tell them to vote no, hope it works.

  29. Hyland Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    I have wrote to fienstien,boxer and lewis several times about this bill keep up the good work

  30. Bradley Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    South Carolina Representatives have heard they need to vote no, I contacted my representatives months ago and I got responses mostly saying they would keep my comments in mind if it came to a vote, and I contacted them again recently and they again said they would keep what I have said in mind. Hopefully this great state can stand up and do what is right!

    • Bradley Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

      When I say vote no, I meant vote no to allowing the FDA to extend their regulation and vote yes to this bill. I made sure my representatives understood that.

  31. Jay Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    I have contacted my representative on the matter, and she [Renee Elmers] is already a cosponsor. Neither of my senators have signed for cosponsorship yet, but I have sent them emails on the matter, and I feel that their support of the bill is highly likely given North Carolina's deep heritage in tobacco production. Strong work, gents… carry on 🙂

  32. Bob Yo - Southern NH Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    I am quite pleased that my representative, Frank Giunta in NH, is already signed on in support of the bill (as of 10/14/11). I've recently contacted both New Hampshire Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D) and Kelly Ayotte (R) via their posted e-mail addresses. Although I've heard nothing as of yet, I'm curious to see how each responds and will pursue our cause with great fervor.
    Viva la CRA!

    • Bob Yo - Southern NH Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 11:35 am #

      Just a follow up…
      Initially I received the auto-reply from Senator Kelly Ayotte's office and suspected a quick brush-off was forthcoming. To my surprise I received the reply I've pasted below. In short, it reads as though she is not in direct support of S1461 (the companion Bill to HR1639) but has signed on in support of three other pending bills that essentially would stonewall any arbitrary action from the FDA that would place unwanted and damaging regulations on the premium cigar industry.
      Not exactly the response we would like to see, but it could give the industry a bit more security and a fighting chance should the FDA focus their sights on a lucrative but non-threatening activity.

      I have not received any reply at all from Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen or her office.

      Here is Senator Kelly Ayotte's reply to my e-mail…

      January 6, 2012

      Dear Mr. Yovanov:

      Thank you for contacting me regarding Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation of cigar manufacturing, sales, and advertising. I appreciate hearing from you.

      On June 22, 2009, President Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Public Law 111-31), which granted the FDA regulatory control over tobacco products, including cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, small cigars, and smokeless tobacco. Although large cigars were not included in the explicit regulatory authority granted, manufacturers, distributors, and consumers worry that the FDA could use its rulemaking authority to impose limitations on large cigar use, sale, or advertising.

      As you know, on August 1, 2011, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act of 2011 (S. 1461), which was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). If enacted, S. 1461 would exempt traditional large and premium cigars-defined as any roll of tobacco that is wrapped solely in leaf tobacco, containing no filter, and weighing at least six pounds per 1,000 count-from the FDA's regulatory authority. S. 1461 is a companion bill to H.R. 1639, which was introduced on April 15, 2011, by Representative Bill Posey (R-FL).

      As the spouse of a small business owner, I share your concern about government accountability and overregulation. That is why I am cosponsoring the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (S.299), the Regulatory Responsibility for our Economy Act of 2011 (S. 358), and the Small Business Regulatory Freedom Act of 2011 (S. 474). If enacted, the REINS Act would force agencies to classify each proposed rule in terms of the economic impact of the regulations and require Congress to introduce joint resolutions of approval to ensure debate and consideration of all major rules. A major rule is defined as a rule which is estimated to impose a cost of $100 million or more on the economy, which poses a significant increase in prices for consumers or businesses, or which adversely affects the competitiveness of our country.

      Similarly, the Regulatory Responsibility for our Economy Act and the Small Business Regulatory Freedom Act of 2011 would require federal agencies to conduct cost-benefit analyses of every regulation and tailor the rules to impose the least burden on society and maximize economic and other benefits. I believe these bills would provide Congress with much needed checks against some of the most costly and burdensome regulations coming out of the administration's regulatory agencies. They will also restore the democratic process by reducing the authority of unelected agencies to promulgate regulations without express Congressional approval.

      Although I do not serve on the HELP Committee, please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind should the full Senate consider S. 1461. Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. As your Senator, it is important that I hear from the people I represent regarding the issues facing our country. Please do not hesitate to be in touch again if I can be of further assistance.


      Kelly A. Ayotte
      U. S. Senator

  33. Joe Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    I sent emails to both Senator + Representative — the Representative had already signed-on as a cosponsor so I sent him my thanks. I encouraged my Senator to cosponsor the SB version. Being born & raised in a Tobacco State and having worked in the fields as a lad, I'm saddened by the continual encroachment on my liberties to make adult-choices. Hopefully this will help…

  34. richard fain Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    i wrote both congressman jim moran andand senator mark r. warner and both sounded sypethetic but neither sounded committed. i just keep sending letters over and over hoping it will help

  35. @AronL Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    I live in Massachusetts, and I've made myself a regular pest of my representatives and senators. I would be surprised if they sign on, however.

    This is Massachusetts, after all.

  36. Nick T Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Have written my Representative a few times on this (Michael Doyle, PA), who surprisingly sounded sympathetic to the cause when he wrote back. Hopefully having fellow Pennsylvania official Pat Toomey will get others on board.

  37. Stewart Levine Friday, January 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    I did contact my Representative (John Culberson, Tex 7) and my Senators (Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn) when this campaign started. I would also like for them to push to have the trade embargo of Cuba lifted. I just returned from an overseas trip where I was able to legally (technically not) purchase and smoke some Cuban cigars including Montecristo #1, Partagas Series D # 5, and Partagas Coronas Senior and I would like all my BOTL to be able to enjoy yhe same pleasure.

  38. Phil T. Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    Here in NV. all are reps signed on,We must get this passed that's what Americas all about.Smoke On!

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