Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Greg Raymer, Sept/Oct 2004
(continued from page 2)
As cigar smokers, we tend to forget that our passion is not shared by others, and that while we have assumed the risks associated with it, we have no right to impose our choice on others—least of all those who are required to earn a living catering to our crowd and who may be insensible to the danger. This is pathologically self-indulgent, and I don't love the leaf so much that I would jeopardize the health of others to satisfy my cravings.
"I have yet to see one death certificate that lists as the cause of death, secondhand smoke," Mr. McCarty writes. You will also never see alcoholism, obesity or a host of other complaints listed as the immediate cause of death, but few would argue that those complaints kill as surely as the complications that attend them. Every absurdist argument that goes unchallenged—or, worse, is encouraged—discredits our cause, and I find myself shaking my head in disbelief at your cheerleading.
This is not a "freedom of choice" issue, and to drape oneself in the popular banner of liberation is simply dishonest. I place Mr. McCarty in that group, small but vocal, that confuses license with liberty and, in so doing, has made our passion obnoxious to a great majority.
In the arena of public opinion, cigar smokers often act as their own worst enemies. We could all stand to become better ambassadors to our mission of spreading "the good life."
Sean K. Conroy
St. Albans, West Virginia
Editor's note: Your point is well made. However, we live in a time where the loudest arguments seem to the ones that get heard. As long as cigar smokers are the targets of illogical attacks, it will be hard to quiet the same kind of rebuttals.
Your choice of Sharon Stone for the cover of the August 2004 issue of your magazine is puzzling. In the article, you say that since Stone's brain aneurysm, "cigar smoking is no longer part" of her life and "she has cut out most tobacco and alcohol. But she can still get nostalgic about cigars." You quote her as saying, "Oh, I used to like them now and again in the right environment. I love it when you're in a tropical setting. The more jungle tropic it is, the better."
I guess she doesn't plan to make any movies in the tropics then, since, according to an article in the July 7 issue of The Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey, one of the "perks" she requires when making a movie is that there be "no cigar smoking on the entire movie set."