Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Chuck Norris, Jul/Aug 98
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Though I am not employed by the tobacco industry in any way, I have become more and more disgusted and angered over the paternalistic and holier-than-thou attitudes reflected over tobacco by politicians and the news media. Always cloaked in the safe, self-righteous and politically correct statement "for our children," the real impetus behind these attacks is greed and prohibition. Clearly, this fanaticism has got to stop.
The fact that you choose to no longer smoke is your business. In the "land of the free," however, kindly return the courtesy by getting off the backs of adult smokers who continue (and will continue) to enjoy smoking.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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My wife (of 34 years) and I were headed from our home in Windsor, Ontario, for our sixth holiday in Cuba. As our trip was in part related to cigars, I thought I would share some of my experiences with your readers.
Three years ago an acquaintance in Cuba had convinced me to try a Cohiba, and I have never looked back. The next Christmas, my daughter gave me a subscription to Cigar Aficionado, and my life was complete!
I had been extremely busy prior to leaving on this vacation and had not had time for my weekly cigar for about three weeks. We had a one-hour stopover at one airport in Cuba and I was pleased to see someone rolling cigars inside the airport terminal. A five-dollar bill got us two very cold beers, a "no-name" cigar of very high quality, and 50 cents change. What an enjoyable stopover.
Some three hours later, we were at our hotel, and after unpacking we headed for the store in the lobby. I had already decided that on this trip I would not purchase black-market cigars, but would only purchase from government-approved stores. Although I had previously purchased black-market cigars that I thought were of excellent quality at ridiculously low prices ($25 per box for Montecristo No. 4s), I reasoned that if I were at home in Canada I would not stoop to buying what could be stolen property, and that my values should be the same in Cuba.
Suddenly, my high ideals were brought under review when the store clerk told me that they were out of cigars. She said that they might receive a shipment later in the week, but I knew that she really meant a Cuban week, which really meant a Canadian month. When I complained to the resident Canadian tour representative (who had previously told us that black-market cigars would be confiscated at the airport by Cuban officials when we departed), she said not to worry, that we would be going on a tour of a major city in four days and that our tour would include a cigar factory.
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