Out of the Humidor

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As I puff away on the free Macanudo Robust included with the October issue, I would like to thank you for putting out such a high-quality and enjoyable magazine. My wife does not smoke cigars, but she fights me to read Cigar Aficionado when it arrives at our house.
Jeff Wood
Columbia, South Carolina
Dear Marvin,
Just read that the Oak Room bar at the Plaza Hotel is banned from cigar smoking!
Oh my God, what is happening to the U.S.! I am a cigar smoker and a European citizen from Luxembourg who has visited New York many times and stayed at the great Plaza Hotel and enjoyed a great cigar at the Oak bar.
That was always like a dream to me, being in New York and staying at the Plaza Hotel. Even as a kid traveling with my parents, New York to me was like going to the real world. That was the place and the country where you could breathe—freedom and liberty and all those other positive words.
I am not an American but I've always felt very close to them and I feel very, very sad right now of hearing that one's freedom and liberty have been banned, and in a city like New York. Wow! Where are the old times? Who are these people in the U.S. who want to teach other people what to do, what to eat, what to think, etc. etc.?
Please tell me that one day I will be able to go back to the Plaza Hotel and go to the Oak Room and enjoy a Punch Double Corona with a great cocktail. Until then, I will stay in Luxembourg and enjoy my cigar in a quiet cigar-friendly place. There will always be peaceful freedom smokers in this contradictory world.
God bless America!
Jean-Claude Reichling
Dear Marvin,
I totally agree with your editor's note in the August 2003 issue regarding smoking bans in public places throughout the United States. I can tell you that here in Boston, it's no different. "Cigar-friendly" establishments are virtually nonexistent, and your recent comparison of cigar smokers of today to leprosy 100 years ago seems to be quite accurate.
I wanted to inform you and the readers of your fine magazine about the ridiculous and unfair law in Boston regarding cigar (and cigarette) smoking. This law states that an establishment may allow smoking if its revenues from tobacco are an overwhelming majority of its total revenues. Basically, this rules out bars and restaurants, so those of us who would enjoy a cigar (or cigarette) at a sports bar or after dinner would be prohibited from doing so. Even more sad is that the surrounding cities and towns are adopting similar laws.
The fact is, more people die from, or are killed by, drunk driving than they do from cigar or cigarette smoking. Every day, one can open a newspaper and read about a drunk driving fatality. Apparently, alcohol is a much bigger business and obviously more important to bureaucracies than tobacco; otherwise, alcohol would be banned as well.
Massachusetts is the birthplace of this country's freedom and independence. How ironic that a statewide smoking ban is inevitable. Unfortunately, my feeling is that those of us who disagree with smoking bans are fighting an uphill battle.
John Lampiris
Boston, Massachusetts
Editor's note: Never give up. The history of prohibitions in this country is cyclical. When We, the People speak out, there is always the chance our government will modify its regulations to reflect the rights of all its citizens. We must keep raising our voices in protest.
Dear Marvin,
I was reading with great interest the editor's note about a trip to California and how they made the comment that, "at least they haven't outlawed smoking outdoors in California…."
One city has and did so immediately after California banned all smoking indoors. Davis, a little "cow town," has passed a law prohibiting smoking outdoors within city limits. Davis is the type of city where everything is inside the city limits, and what it considered outside the city limits is not worth visiting.
I would love to see you run another story about California and their asinine laws regarding smoking, etc. The only way to allow smoking in a California restaurant or other building is for the building to have a separate room equipped with separate ventilation and filtering systems and for a sign to be posted making those aware of the room. There are very few places to dine and enjoy yourself in California that feature this. It is sad and I am with you 110 percent about punishing us for the issue of an "enjoyable habit," as they call it; I call it an enjoyable investment. I add on to the NRA's popular saying: when it comes to my cigars, they can have my Joya de Nicaragua when they pry it out of my cold, dead fingers.
Hear, hear, and keep up the good work over there.
Michael Jones
Boise, Idaho

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