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David Savona

Holiday Hypocrisy

Posted: Dec 23, 2011 12:00am ET

Camacho Cigars, the company behind such superb cigar brands as Camacho Corojo and Room 101, has come under fire recently for its upcoming sponsorship of the Orange Bowl. Camacho, which is owned by Switzerland’s Davidoff of Geneva, inked a three-year deal with the Orange Bowl Festival earlier this month, and as part of the arrangement the company would create smoking lounges for adults who wished to enjoy a puff around game time.

Health advocates are not happy with this deal, and they are putting pressure on the Orange Bowl and the NCAA to drop Camacho as a sponsor. They fear this arrangement sends the wrong message to children, and that cigars should not be part of this game. You can read our story on the original protest here. Yesterday, Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) joined the protest, sending letters announcing their opposition to having Camacho as an Orange Bowl sponsor.

This is hypocrisy at its worst. Camacho is one of 50 sponsors for the Orange Bowl and many make or promote products that are inappropriate for use by minors. Bacardi, the legendary rum and spirits company, is a Bowl sponsor. So is Stella Artois, the Belgian beer brand. So is Gold Coast Beverage Distributors, the largest beer wholesaler in Florida. Like Camacho, each of these companies sells legal products, for use by adults only.

What about gambling? The Florida Lottery is a sponsor of the Orange Bowl. Like smoking a cigar, or drinking a beer or a rum cocktail, gambling is a legal product that is entirely illegal for children.

Let’s get picky. Discover, the main bowl sponsor, is a credit card company. Are credit cards good for children? Last time I checked consumer debt in the United States was more than $2 trillion. Not good. And can you imagine a credit card in the hands of a child? How about the brands of fast food and snacks that are Orange Bowl sponsors? Taco Bell and Chipotle, Frito Lay and Coca-Cola, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups—not exactly sprouts and poached chicken. I’m not sure those are appropriate for children either.

The hard, true fact is that any of these items that I’ve listed can be construed as bad for you, regardless of your age, if you use them to excess. No cigar smoker with a sound mind will tell you that cigars are appropriate for children. Cigars are an adult pleasure—a legal adult pleasure. End of story.

Cigars are a legal part of adult life, and the anti-smoking zealots should step down from their soapboxes and leave this sponsorship deal alone.

Comments   29 comment(s)

Luiz Roberto Farah — Curitiba, Parana, Brazil,  —  December 23, 2011 5:15pm ET

David an Cigar Aficonado, both in honor of democracy and free opinion. A historical article a corageous opinion and we have to hold it.
Luiz R Farah, Curitiba, Brazil

Craig Vanderslice December 23, 2011 5:43pm ET

Well said. It's almost as bad as banning flavored cigars instead of enforcing the existing laws to keep kids from getting things they arent supposed to get.

Craig Vanderslice December 23, 2011 5:43pm ET

Well said. It's almost as bad as banning flavored cigars instead of enforcing the existing laws to keep kids from getting things they arent supposed to get.

Rick Collins December 23, 2011 7:02pm ET

It's about time that America, and especillay the do-gooders in politics, to grow up. There is no hidden message other than "This is what adultsdo." Lautenburg (sp.) and his cronies have to make a political statement on anything that makes them look like the saviors of America. Bah, Humbug!

CHARLES BAILEY — TAMPA, FL, UNITED STATES,  —  December 23, 2011 8:01pm ET

Well said David.

DOUG LINDSAY — STANWOOD, MI, UNITED STATES,  —  December 23, 2011 9:24pm ET

Very appropriately stated David. It wouldn't surprise me at all if our 3 esteemed Senators occasionally or regularly enjoy cigars.......more hipocracy, if so!
Seasons greetings to you and all at Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Insider........your publications are treasures to me!

AlexBenes December 23, 2011 11:03pm ET

Can kids use credit cards to buy cigars for me? Just puttin' it out there. Might be a way to go.

Rusty Brown — Fredericksburg, VA, USA,  —  December 24, 2011 2:51am ET

Just another double standard. I watched an NCAA basketball game (Weds, 22 Dec) between Mizzou and Illinois. Everytime a crowd shot was shown, you'd see adults enjoying beer, at the game. No big deal - it's what adults do. So if an NCAA event can be sponsored by a major beer company - and the adult attendees of these games can enjoy these beverages - what's the big deal? As David points out here, the hypocrisy is absolutely visible. I mean, seriously - what do these folks think will be taking place at the Orange Bowl tailgates? I hope Camacho can continue - with the smoking lounges, as some of us adults would really enjoy a good stogie at the game. David - keep up the great work!

George C — Commack, NY, USA,  —  December 24, 2011 3:47am ET

Dave, the 3 gentlemen you mentioned who are joining in on opposing this sponsor. Does the D next to their name stand for Democrat, or d@@k. Just curious, I guess there are no real issues to deal with right now in these states.

Taylor Franklin December 24, 2011 7:20am ET

I'm worried about the game itself.

Football is physical, violent, rough, serious injuries . . . who will think of the children!!

Jennifer Vanderslice December 24, 2011 8:30pm ET

You can fax your thoughts on this topic to the Orange Bowl committee at 305-341-4750 for free using Or you can email their VP of Communications at:

Butch Castellani — North Houston, TX, USA,  —  December 24, 2011 8:46pm ET

Sometimes liberals need a high five. In the face. With a chair.

Common sense has been replaced with 'You are not responsible enough to run your own life, so we will make decisions for you.'

As a wise man once said, "From my cold dead hands....."

Peter Loman — Calgary, Alberta, Canada,  —  December 26, 2011 5:38pm ET

"health advocates are not happy with this deal".. let's call them what they are - "anti-vice activists" - and once they have won the smoking battle, they will switch shirts and placards and go after the next behavior they find impure..

Paul Byrne — Toronto, Ontario, Canada,  —  December 28, 2011 2:31am ET

Perhaps this is the NCAA attempting to divert the country's eyes away from child sex abuse scandals. Last time I checked that was harmful to children. Not cigars...

Thomas Person — louisville, KY, USA,  —  December 29, 2011 8:45pm ET

Well said this is draconian hypocrisy at its best or worst. They made a deal it should be honored and in 3 years re-evaluate the deal or any renewal. At least then you could get the feedback from both sides and I would be amazed if those complaining loudest now were even present at the Orange Bowl or would provide feedback if they were there.

John Alan Short December 29, 2011 9:44pm ET

Hopefully soon everything will be regulated so I can just sit in my chair (if still allowed) and drool (again, if still allowed). See Jennifer's email above and write - maybe if they think enough people are paying attention, they will start to listen. I am skeptical.

Kenny L. — Oldeminence, KY, United States,  —  January 2, 2012 8:42pm ET

Typical liberal behavior. Do as I say, not as I do.

David Savona January 3, 2012 2:46pm ET

Lots of great comments here, thank you and keep them coming.

Eddie Rodriguez — Zachary , Louisiana, USA,  —  January 4, 2012 3:29am ET

I sent my email stating my boycott of the Orange Bowl. I'll never watch it again.

John Dominski — Somerset, NJ, USA,  —  January 4, 2012 4:26pm ET

Amazing that a senator from NJ is sticking his democratic nose into the Florida Orange Bowl. Maybe if he spent more time on reducing stupid spending in his own state then people may decide to retire there.
Yes, an excellent article on hypocrisy and double standards.

Ernest Quintiliani January 4, 2012 10:44pm ET

David, What frightens me more than the hypocrisy of the health groups (many who rely on tobacco money for their existence)is the hypocrisy of many cigar smokers who agree with them (At least one reader response to the "Camacho and Orange Bowl Part Ways" article echoes the sentiment that anything that presents smoking as a desirable habit must be discouraged). What happened to teaching your children and grandchildren about moderation?

I have been employed in the retail tobacco business for 12 years and in that time, I've watched this sentiment grow among cigar and pipe smokers at an alarming rate. If this attitude continues to take hold, I see a very bleak future for the industry.

LOU BOZZELLI — ROCKWOOD, ONTARIO, CANADA,  —  January 7, 2012 6:34pm ET

David, I wish I could put my thoughts to print like you. What you said it so true of all the other legal products that are sponsors. I really think that it is the visual of someone smoking that the health nuts hate. Cigarettes, pipe, cigars and chewing tobacco it's all the same to them. And because they don't happen to enjoy this pastime, nor should anyone else. Give me a break, please!!!

Taylor Franklin January 8, 2012 7:55pm ET

Many do not enjoy the pastime of football, it's violent, physical and rough. Many players are taking PED's and pain killers . . . DRUGS!!

Therefore the entire game and all the leagues should be banned. A group of us has formed a massive brainwashing lobby and we are raising funds with a ticket-tax at all football games.

Football is evil, it harms children and families alike.

Russ Liebowitcz January 10, 2012 12:34am ET

The distinction that HAS to be made: Responsible cigar smoking versus forcing second hand smoke on others. Since smoking rooms are clearly about smoking, stay out if you don't like them. Why is this an issue? Allowing smoking where second hand smoke is an obvious negative is another story. Why can't this concept be made clear such that the issue becomes a NON-issue? Rational arguments can't be arguments of convenience. They have to make sense.

STEVEN ROBERTS — CALGARY, AB, CANADA,  —  January 11, 2012 5:49pm ET

well if people are getting upset about something as small as that here's a great idea..ban the video game sponsors, they can cause seizures.
may as well ban everything! or does that happen next year

LouCarlascio January 11, 2012 6:47pm ET


Cosmo Lavish — Whitby, ON, Canada,  —  January 14, 2012 8:38pm ET

I'm confused by the description of the senators as "liberal", though. The whole farce sounds pretty illiberal.

Kevin Born — Kenton , Ohio , USA,  —  January 15, 2012 10:48pm ET

I wonder what would happen if Camacho wanted to build a wing on a children's hospital? would their money be acceptable for that?

Frank P — Miami, Fl, 33146,  —  January 25, 2012 7:03am ET

David, great article.

The hypocrisy includes the report last month that 25 percent of 8th, 10th and 12th graders reported using marijuana in the past year, because it is more accessible than tobacco.

The hypocrisy that this stadium is located in the cigar district, the heart of Little Havana, the place for sweet Cuban coffee, chewing cigars and playing dominoes.

The original Orange Bowl stadium (Burdine) opened in 1937, in the area that was developed after a boom due to the local authorities of Miami allowed gambling and were very lax in regulating Prohibition, so thousands of people migrated from the northern United States to the Miami region.

One of the most memorable events of its entire history, in 1963 Orange Bowl, [Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Oklahoma Sooners], was that President John F. Kennedy attended and smoked cuban cigars during the game.

Their hypocrisy, by banning the cigars, they show that discrimination is still alive and well.

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