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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Rush Limbaugh, Spring 94

(continued from page 8)

Los Angles residents are the better for the recently imposed, restaurant smoking ban. California residents would benefit from a similar statewide ban in restaurants and public places. Yes, even a ban that extends to private functions such as cigar din-ners is appropriate. After all, why should waitstaff catering the function be forced to serve you in a noxious environment.

Steven J. Bastian
Studio City, California

Editor's Response: One of the foundations of this country's greatness is the right to enjoy yourself. Read the Declaration of Independence: it establishes the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You don't have the right to tell anybody what to do at a private function. If you took half a minute to think about it, you'd realize just how wrong you are.

* * *

Dear Marvin:

While reading your Autumn 1993 issue, I was quite moved by your Editor's Note entitled "A Year to Remember"...and then I got to the last paragraph. Your reference to your then fledgling publication as a "men's magazine" nearly jolted me out of my chair. While I acknowledged the fact that cigar smoking is a hobby where the majority of participants are men, and that many women consider it a disgusting habit, I count myself among the women who are not offended by cigar smokers and just so happen to consider myself among the cigar aficionados of the world. I understand that you must cater to the majority of your readership and present advertising (I happen to enjoy many of the advertised products that appear in your magazine) and features to suit a male subscriber, how-ever, I would appreciate it if your publication would cease mentioning cigar smoking as a "men's hobby" that should be enjoyed exclusively by men.

Please do not assume that I am another one of those radical feminists who wants to break down the doors of every fraternal organization in creation. I happen to consider myself a very secure woman and do not have a problem with "men only" social clubs and events, however, I found your comments on page 170 in the article about cigar dinners quite disturbing. I have read so many letters from your readers who write in to thank you for bringing cigar smoking out of the closet. Please understand that many women are no longer defining themselves by conventional societal expectations and would like to experience new and different things, even if they are privileges traditionally meant for men to enjoy (we never used to be able to vote either, remember).

From the sincere tone of your Editor's Note, you seem like a gentleman with class, someone with whom I'd love to share a smoke. I would like to think I am a welcome member of the cigar-smoking community, but if you, as the editor of Cigar Aficionado and a person of significant stature in cigar-smoking circles around the world, cannot accept the inclusion of women, we will continue to endure prejudice and discrimination. You have the ability to in-spire tolerance and acceptance for female cigar enthusiasts, and I hope that my thoughts on this issue can begin to illustrate our desire to be considered serious members of the community.

Kim Politano
San Francisco, California

Editor's Response: You are right. I would never exclude a devoted woman smoker like yourself.

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