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An Ambassador for Cigars

Marvin R. Shanken, Gordon Mott
From the Print Edition:
Jeremy Irons, March/April 2013

We usually don’t spend a lot of time on this page talking about the issue’s cover subject. But Jeremy Irons deserves a tip of our hats. Which superpower would he choose if he had the chance? “When I’m asked what superpower I wish I had, I used to say it would be to fly—but now I think it would be to be able to smoke invisibly.” He goes on to say that it has gotten more and more difficult to smoke in public. But he also says that tobacco is one of his favorite things in life, and he is dismayed by the fact that there isn’t a strong lobby to defend it. He just wants to be able to enjoy it whenever he wants without any hassle.

We think there’s a message from Mr. Irons for every cigar lover in the world. We have always been ardent defenders of our right to smoke. But over the years, we’ve noticed our own behavior begin to change in the face of the universal opposition. We may not be quite as quick to speak up about all the great things that come with smoking a fine-rolled cigar. We may not be quite as aggressive in pointing out all the flaws in the science behind the absolute bans on smoking, not just indoors but in outdoor spaces too. We may be a little bit too conservative about speaking up when people challenge us about why we like to smoke.

But Mr. Irons gives us a good reminder that there’s no reason to be shy or feel guilty about something we love so much. A great smoke is one of the greatest pleasures in life. We can recall many of those moments, whether it’s on the terrace at the Hotel Nacional in Cuba, standing on the first tee of a memorable golf course, watching the splash of fine vintage port in a glass after dining at a great three-star restaurant in France, or just relaxing in the Jacuzzi at home.

We know many of you have joined Cigar Rights of America, and have been supporting grassroots efforts to influence legislation to protect the cigar industry, and our rights to enjoy a cigar. But we all need to go even farther. We need to wear our love of cigars on our sleeves, and always be ready to talk about and defend the pleasure we find in a cigar. We’re not talking about a hostile, in your face kind of attitude, but simply a quiet resolve to always be ready to speak up, and express just how much a cigar means to us, and to our friends. That’s what being a good ambassador is all about. And we can each be an ambassador for premium, hand-rolled cigars.

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