Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Havana—The Insider's Guide, November/December 2011
I live in Ireland and travel to New York every Christmas for a shopping trip with my wife. I have to say we spend quite a bit of money there on clothes, etc.
I also enjoy browsing and buying cigars in New York’s finest cigar shops—probably some of the best in the world—and now with this ridiculous smoking ban that the city has put in place, so many people will be out of work, so many businesses closed. I know what I am talking about. Did you ever think that you would see bars in Ireland closing down? Yes, you’ve guessed right. Another brilliant result from our government’s smoking ban! For Christ’s sake why are they doing this to people who just want to enjoy a cigar in the park or wherever they want?
Shame on them. With everything New York and the rest of the states has been through I thought they would have bigger fish to fry, but it’s like everything else—cigar smokers are easy targets. I know I am a nobody and that the Big Apple won’t miss us, but I for one will never set foot in New York again thanks to its silly smoking ban. Don’t even think about writing back talking about passive smoking. I don’t care. Indoors, I can kind of understand but outdoors, it’s just madness.
As Cigar Aficionado summed it up perfectly “it’s like banning driving to cut down on speeding violators.”
Galway City, Ireland
Editor’s Note: We couldn’t agree more. It’s such a shame that our city’s politicians ignore the desires of many of its citizens and impose silly, unenforceable laws.
I’ve been an avid reader (although only a very recent subscriber) of your magazine for about 15 years. If memory serves, the first issue that attracted me was the Michael Richards (“Kramer”) issue. What I like most about your magazine is the variety of articles. There’s plenty in it that addresses the subject of cigars, but there’s also a diverse selection of articles that treats cigar smokers like real people with a real complex array of interests. When you’re in a shop smoking with fellow cigar lovers (if you’re lucky enough to find a shop where smoking is still legal), you rarely talk only about cigars. I suppose that means that your magazine succeeds in simulating an experience at a shop, although it could never replace that.
What has recently disappointed me, however, is that I find there isn’t much coverage of those that are fighting for the rights of cigar smokers. I sympathize with and agree with pretty much anything you have written in your Editors’ Note almost every issue regarding those who are trying to rob us of our freedom to choose cigars. But there are those who are dedicating their lives to battling that. People like Glynn Loope or Brian Berman, or pretty much anyone else in the Cigar Rights of America organization, tour the country in support of building a base of members so that there are people consistently writing letters to those in power to fight restrictive legislation.
There are also retailers I know personally who make frequent trips to Washington, D.C., to join CRA personnel in lobbying for cigar smokers to have places they can congregate and share camraderie while puffing on a Padrón or Perdomo (or nearly any other wonderful cigar available across the country). And with the most recent Editors’ Note, you took time to talk about some of the positive changes, reversals and limitations of the restrictions against smoking. Organizations like CRA have definitely contributed to helping make those things happen.
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