Cigar Aficionado

Canadian Tobacconist Forced to Sell "igars"

All cigar smokers know of Cuban cigars, but what about a Cuban "igar?"

To comply with new provincial anti-tobacco laws and avoid a fine, Alex Landels, owner of A.J. Landels Cigar in Nanaimo, British Columbia, has been forced to drop the "C" from the sign in front of his shop. He now sells "igars."

"The next logical step, if they have such stipulations on signage, is to eliminate any tobacco reference in any book, novel or magazine," Landels told The Vancouver Sun in a recent interview.

The laws, which took effect March 31, are intended to hold retailers responsible for preventing people, especially those under 19, from contravening tobacco laws by establishing specifics on the promotion of tobacco products.

The new rules say a sign can't be bigger than 968 square centimeters (1.04 square feet) and can only use black lettering, not more than 5 centimeters high (1.97 inches), on a white background. In addition, retailers must not advertise, nor publicly display, tobacco products in places where people under the age of 19 might see them.

To comply with the new laws, some tobacconists must completely cover up the windows of their business so as to hide their product.

Landels is waiting for a new sign that will comply with the laws, but in the meantime he will keep selling "igars."

"I might just leave that one as a protest," Landels said.