Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Fidel Castro, Summer 94
(continued from page 2)
If every resident of the valley would step outside tomorrow morning and light up, the skies would still remain clear, and you could still smell the flowers. The brown haze that you see over the metropolitan area is not tobacco smoke, but car exhaust! If it takes two packs of cigarettes a day over 20 years to kill a person, it will probably take 60 years for secondhand smoke to take effect. Inhaling car exhaust straight from the pipe kills in about 10 minutes.
So I have come to the conclusion--a car is only a car, but a good cigar is a smoke.
Hans G. Kusche
The Mesa Tribune
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I think that you and I both know that it does not take much more than common sense to know that all of the reputed deleterious reported effects of secondhand smoke are hogwash. I did not want a recent letter to the Journal of the American Medical Association to escape your notice in case you did not see it. Note particularly the highlighted sentence. You may remember me as a previous author for the Opinion section in the third issue of your magazine.
M. Hal Pearlman, M.D.
Editor's Response: Thanks for the letter. Here is the sentence that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association in reference to the average cigarette smoker and the environment for secondhand smoke, "it would take 42.6, eight-hour days , i.e., over eight weeks of work, for the individual to be exposed to the nicotine equivalent in a single cigarette."
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During a recent reading of Cigar Aficionado on my way to England and Scotland, I decided to visit Davidoff in London. This particular article featured their store and the unfortunate end of a long and prosperous business relationship with their Cuban counterparts.
After a long and much-delayed flight out of Boston, I arrived in London on a Saturday afternoon. Upon arriving at the hotel, I inquired of the concierge for directions to Davidoff. Fortunately, my hotel was located adjacent to Buckingham Palace and was only a very short walking distance from the store because it would soon be closing for the weekend. My business would be taking me to another city on Monday, and this was my only opportunity to visit and sample my favorite, illicit-brand of cigars--Cohiba.
I must admit I am a bit amused by a policy that prohibits the import of a product into the United States that is so readily available in the rest of the world. Why do we in our infinite wisdom embark on such "causes" alone and without the consensus of the rest of the world? Looking at the bright side of this issue, I suppose the deprivation brought on by the embargo has heightened my sense of appreciation and enjoyment of these fine cigars when they can be obtained.
Upon arriving at Davidoff, I was greeted by a friendly and helpful staff who led me straight to my beloved Cohibas. I could not light my first cigar quick enough and enjoyed a second one on my way back to the hotel. Due to the prohibitive cost of these babies, I bought just enough to get me through what proved to be my most memorable trip ever.
As soon as I got back home, I visited my local tobacconist on Christmas Eve and relived the many memorable moments of the trip and, of course, the cigars. Much to my surprise, the owner announced that he had a special gift for me. And what a surprise it proved to be: a fresh, unopened box of Cohiba Lanceros. I rushed to open the box and share a savored cigar with my friend.
What an irony that I have traveled so far to receive the same cigar right here at home. Who says there is no Santa Claus?
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It was wonderful to meet you at the Big Smoke in Miami in January.
During my 10 years as a yacht captain, one of my truly favorite moments is when I carry my humidor up to the flybridge to enjoy a cigar with the stars. In the anchorage of a small Caribbean island, with nothing but the occasional silhouette of a high-soaring frigate bird and my Davidoff, I am constantly reminded of what all my elders said to me very early in life: "Do what you want with your life because it goes much faster than you think."
Marvin, thank you for bringing me Cigar Aficionado and for bringing another piece of happiness into my life!
Capt. Michael Schueler
Lat. 25.46N Long. 80.11W
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I am a freshman at Washington and Lee University. I was introduced to your magazine by a friend of my mother's. I actually find Cigar Aficionado quite enjoyable. I am amazed to read of the plethora of people who are fanatical about cigars. Husbands including the right to smoke their cigars in prenuptial agreements is hard to believe. I am not afraid to admit that the young, conservative 19-year-old lady that I am just may take up the distinguished habit of cigar smoking.
Heath B. Acuff
Editor's Response: Heath, we warmly welcome you.
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I was a raw, rude and tasteless 18-year-old college freshman in 1970 at Tulane University. I began my cigar career inhaling raw, rude and tasteless "Dino" cigars at Tulane football games with my fellow frat brothers. We intelligently chose "Dinos" because one fellow brother was nicknamed "Dino."
I was rehabilitated and saved on a fateful weekend jaunt in Houston with roommate Tim Heffron and Bill "Dino" Pappas. At Heffron's home, his old man graciously gifted us with our first handmade imports--Dominican H. Upmanns.
At the conclusion of dinner at Heffron's on the first evening, the men lit up in the dining room, and surprisingly, the women (Mrs. Heffron and her daughter) enjoyed the air. The room was enveloped with a thick haze, but the feeling of friendship and warmth was overwhelming.
My father recognized and respected my new love, and he purchased for me my first box of cigars--Macanudos. They remain my loyal choice of smoke today.
My mother and I agree on little about life, but even she always appreciated and enjoyed the elegant Macanudo aromas that wafted about the house.
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