Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
maduro issue, Winter 93/94
(continued from page 12)
J. Todd Wind
* * *
I am a subscriber and admirer of your fine magazine When a new issue arrives, I usually disregard my Times and opt for picking out a prime corona from my humidor, going to my balcony and lighting up while slowly perusing my cherished new CIGAR AFICIONADO. I particularly enjoy your "Out of the Humidor" section. Although I'm rarely inclined to write to magazines, I do enjoy reading other people's views and opinions on a wide variety of issues.
I had not taken offense with anything printed in your magazine until I read your Summer 1993 editorial. I have been arguing against the American misogynist attitude toward our first lady since day one. A strong woman in the White House should not be perceived as threatening to cigar smokers or any other American for that matter. Hillary is a hard worker with strong convictions and ideals. That should make all Americans proud.
I have a nonsmoking wife who respects my right to smoke cigars. We have a nonsmoking policy in our apartment as does the White House. I am fortunate enough to have a balcony where my friends, guests and I enjoy our cigars. I find no philosophical quandary in this arrangement as you do in reference to the White House policy.
All this said, my offense comes from the inference that President Clinton is a wimp for allowing such a policy because he is a cigar smoker. As logic follows, that makes me and I'm sure a lot of other American smokers out there wimps as well. I feel it is my duty to write this letter offering a different point of view.
First and foremost, smoke in any form is destructive. It is destructive for painted walls and wallpaper; it is destructive for hanging works of art; it is especially destructive for sensitive electrical circuits such as those found in expensive communication, computer and audio/video equipment. Smoke tends to be absorbed by furniture and curtains, permeating the fabric and leaving an odor that is usually sprayed with aerosols that further contaminate the air, which is so precious for all indoor-dwelling humans.
Don't get me wrong, Marvin. I am a smoker and as such, I am in strong support of having well-ventilated public areas for people to indulge their right to smoke cigars and pipes as well as cigarettes. My real disagreement with your point of view is how we perceive the White House. You consider it a country club; I see it as residential home and historic shrine. I don't believe there is a museum in this country that allows smoking. Like them, I find the effects of smoke compromising to the well being of my home. So, like President Clinton, I live in a smoke-free environment, yet I do love smoking my cigars in the great outdoors.
As for your suggestion to allow smoking in the White House dining area, there would have to be designated smoking areas to comply with the national trend. Think about it, Marvin. Segregating smokers from nonsmokers in the White House is not going to help foreign policy. There is enough segregation on the issues alone. This would only exacerbate problems in the diplomatic process.
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