Tommy Zarzecki (aka: Tommy Zman)
Over the last decade, smoking bans have become all the rage.
The anti smoking bullies have gone berserk with their rules and regulations, laws and fines, and will not stop until the world is 100 percent smoke free. Countless numbers of cigar bars have gone bankrupt, places where the owners put their life savings into a business, only to have their hearts ripped out with no exceptions to the rule. My thought has always been, how can you tell a business owner what he can and can’t do in his place of business? It’s always been pretty damned simple to me: If you don’t like smoke, don’t visit or work at a cigar friendly restaurant or bar. Wow, regular everyday common sense, will you look at that. But, after all is said and done, at least we can still smoke outside, I mean they can’t that away from us, right? I said right?

WTF?…

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Tommy Zarzecki (aka: Tommy Zman)
So there we were, a gazillion lovers of the leaf just hanging out, enjoying the little things in life:
our homes, family, a charred hunk of flesh atop a fiery grill, a nice stiff belt of malted grains after a long hard day of work… and of course, a good premium hand rolled cigar picked fresh from our well-stocked, cedar-lined humidors. Oh yes… life was simply grand…

You see, guys, "WAS" is the key word right there. We the cigar loving public and the industry that makes our beloved smoky treats – well, there’s no other way to say it, but we ALL got fat, lazy and stupid. Ignorant dumb-asses, so many of us, thinking that this tidal wave of an anti-smoking movement was all about cigarettes. How naïve could we possibly be? But, I guess when you really think about it, how can you blame us, I mean everybody knows that cigars and cigarettes are completely different and you can’t possibly compare the two, right? Everyone is aware that premium cigars are a naturally grown artisanal product, while a pack of cigarettes is loaded with enough chemically induced garbage to give the Toxic Avenger a nuclear woody… right? Ask anyone with a conscious thinking brain and they’ll attest to the fact that just because they’re both tobacco doesn’t mean they are anything alike… you know just like finely aged scotch and backyard moonshine are both alcohol, but… like Claratin and street grade heroin are both drugs, but… like a Peter Lugar’s porterhouse and a Big Mac are cuts of grilled beef, but…um… Right? Helloooo…

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By C. R. S. Lyles
"If the FDA succeeds in regulating premium cigars, it will essentially put 85,000 Americans out of work."

The above quote is taken from Chief Executive Officer of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association, Bill Spann, who, along with the IPCPR, is taking the tobacco argument to the federal level, continuing the work started by legislation such as H.R. 1639 (the "Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Preservation Act of 2011"), and other organizations, such as the Cigar Rights of America.

"We [IPCPR] are the leading trade association for the premium hand-made cigar and tobacco industry," Spann said. "We’re dedicated to protecting the interests of our members by providing information, services, support, and legislative action."

Originally founded as the RTDA in 1933, the IPCPR is a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade association which "provides its members with assistance to fight draconian and onerous tobacco legislation, and brings retailers and manufacturers together in mutually advantageous business relationships."

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By C. R. S. Lyles
Consumer rights advocacy has been taking on a new role these past few years.

With the economy in shambles, foreign markets scooping up the debris of American companies and the general woe and misery that has seemed to pervade the public consciousness since mid- to late-2008, it is no small comfort to see the words "cigar rights" used in a context that isn’t accompanied by a scoff.

Cigar Rights of America, led by Executive Director Glynn Loope, is at the forefront of this evolution in consumer rights — H.R. 1639 and Senate Bill 1461, their weapons of choice.

"This is the first time in the political history of the cigar industry that the cigar enthusiasts of the country, the cigar retail community, and the manufacturing community are going on offense," said Loope. "For the first time, we’re not just trying to kill legislation — legislation is being initiated to help defend the cigar business against FDA regulations."

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