Out Of The Humidor, October 2017

Dear Marvin,

I just read your letter to new FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in the August issue of Cigar Aficionado and was moved to contact the commissioner myself. This potential act by our government must not be allowed to happen. Let’s hope that together we can all pull this thing through for the industry.

Wayne McCollum

Rancho Mirage, California

Editors’ Response: The response from our readers to contact the new FDA commissioner has been overwhelming and impressive. Thank you for joining with so many of your fellow readers who answered the call. But more can be done, and it’s not too late to enlist others to the cause. Spread the word with your fellow cigar smokers and make sure they join the fight. Go to www.cigaraficionado.com and follow our links to let the government know the FDA needs to leave handmade cigars alone. 

Dear Marvin, 

In reference to the Daymond John article [“A Shark With Style,” June 2017] it was not only an outstanding write up but very inspirational. I live in Northern Virginia and work in I.T. project management and truly believe what he has done with his life is fabulous.

I also watch the show “Shark Tank” and find all their journeys very interesting and give them credit on what they have done with their lives and how it has affected others.

Sal Molé

Herndon, Virginia

Dear Marvin,

One Sunday morning long ago, sitting by the fire with my friend having bagels and coffee, she said, “This is so romantic,” and I hummed in agreement. She asked what I was thinking of. 

Years ago, at 16 years old, I must have done something stupid and my dad grounded me for the weekend. Rather than mope around, I built a bench. My dad was so pleased he let me go out on Sunday.

So I put that bench out on the land that got cleared for the cherry trees planted in my dad’s memory, and 40 years later that bench is still solid. Of course, the girl’s long gone, but it seems rather romantic to me just to sit out there with a sunset and a cigar.

David Brinning

Naples, Florida

Dear Marvin,

In the June 2014 edition I commented on the absence of nationally syndicated sports talk icon Jim Rome in Kenneth Shouler’s piece entitled “Sports Squawk.” The feeling was mutual based on other reader letters that you printed, along with an Editors’ Response stating “Romey” should have been included.

Much to my satisfaction—as well as other “jungle dwellers”—I read your piece on Jim [“Rome is Burning”] in the August 2017 issue.

Like the legendary Howard Cosell, Jim Rome did not play the game—but he certainly has his hand on the pulse of what today’s sports fan really wants to talk about.

Nicholas J. Antonicello

Venice Beach, California

Dear Marvin,

A few months back I had my first cigar at the ripe old age of 40. It was fantastic. A few weeks later I purchased my first issue of Cigar Aficionado and was blown away at how amazing your magazine was laid out and the vivid colors of all the pictures. I have not missed an issue since.

As a newbie I would love to see a beginner’s section to further my knowledge of the cigar world.

Tyler Foxcroft

Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Editors’ Response: You’re in luck. This issue has a story that covers some of the basics for those who are new to cigar smoking, as well as diving into details for seasoned veterans. Turn to page 140 to read “Ten Things Every Cigar Smoker Should Know.” And our website, www.cigaraficionado.com, has an entire section dedicated to cigar education called Cigar 101. We also have a video gallery that will show you how to cut, light and select a cigar that’s right for you. Welcome to the wonderful world of cigar smoking. 

Dear Marvin,

It’s rather ironic that, in spite of many public health concerns, marijuana dispensaries are popping up like dandelions while the cigar industry is under fire. Here in Oregon there are 418 registered medical marijuana dispensaries with 167 dispensaries in Portland alone. (You could probably count the cigar lounges on one hand.) What this demonstrates is that the real issues are ideological. Legalized pot—and the move to legalize it—enjoys the favor of the “new establishment,” which sees itself as progressive, tolerant and open. The cigar industry, however, is perceived as a vestige of the “old guard,” and, unlike the pot juggernaut, may be squeezed into oblivion with little political fallout.

The cigar industry might learn a lesson from the cannabis industry, which eroded resistance to full legalization through the clever appeal to marijuana’s medical use. Perhaps the cigar industry should argue that smokers of premium cigars are more likely to be responsible citizens with good jobs and that they also enjoy greater mental health through the stress relief a premium stick provides. Maybe we should call our retail humidors “medical cigar dispensaries” and see what happens.

Fred Allen

Via cigaraficionado.com’s Facebook Page