Editorial | A Unified Voice Is Needed

This past weekend Arnold Schwarzenegger was named the Cigar Smoker of the Year, but I ask what did he do to deserve this. Our community is under attack at levels I did not realize until we took The Cigar Authority to the next level. There are smoking bans in place that even affect our right to smoke in our own home, public sidewalks and even inside cigar bars and lounges.

Yet, when I post some of these smoking bans I am appalled by the response of my fellow cigar smokers which usually consists of comments such as, “So glad I don’t live there”, “Who cares, it’s Nebraska” and “That won’t happen where I live”. Well, today a second municipality brought up the potential of making  tobacco sales illegal. If we don’t start fighting this as a unified community, we will lose. I challenge Arnold Schwarzenegger to speak out against the smoking bans and to help fight the good fight.

This past week I pointed out on Facebook that there are places in California that you can not smoke where you live, and a member of the IPCPR Board of Directors stated, “California doesn’t count” before deleting his posts when being called out. This is part of the problem, if we don’t stand together and fight as one voice for ALL cigar smokers we are destined to lose. Right now this goes beyond the FDA, it is about our government becoming the nanny state. Even if you don’t smoke you need to stand up and protect these rights because what is cigars today might be sugar in your coffee tomorrow.

If you are a retailer it is important that you join the IPCPR and as a consumer it is important to join the CRA because both of these bodies represent our voice and only with our support do we have a chance against the special interest groups that are funding the movement to ban tobacco.

If you don’t stand up, when the time comes you should sit down because we told you so.