Archive for the ‘smoking ban’ Category

Kalifornia Goes Nuts and Other Taxing Matters by Frank Seltzer

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Well at least one idea in the nanny state did die.  A Democrat assemblymen from San Rafel had this idea that the state should be able to ban smoking in homes. Yup in your own house. The bill said if you shared a wall, ceiling, floor or ventilation system with a neighboring unit you could not smoke.  Second hand smoke was the reason.  Fortunately for the state, the bill died in committee, being rejected on a 5-2 vote.

The bill’s critics questioned who would enforce it, how, and what impact the bill would have on habitual smokers or on people with disabilities who could not easily leave their residences to smoke.

You can bet they will keep trying.  The example of  this came out Monday from San Diego State University, which found that third hand smoke endangers hotel guests.

“Researchers” from the university visited 600 hotel rooms in San Diego and analyzed surfaces and air for tobacco pollutants.  Lucky research assistants provided urine and finger swipe samples to test for other tobacco “carcinogens”.

“[T]hese research finds suggest that the existing smoke-free exemptions in California hotels make it virtually impossible to protect a non-smoking guest who stays in a designated smoking room from tobacco smoke exposure-even if no one smokes during their stay,” the authors wrote. “This is because smoking hotel rooms become reservoirs of tobacco, smoke toxicants that accumulate in carpets, dust, upholstery, mattresses, curtains and furniture, penetrate wallpaper and paint, and are even stored in drywall.”

The researchers concluded that exemptions in law for smoking in hotel rooms make it hard to protect guests who prefer non-smoking rooms, since “tobacco smoke cannot be confined to a hotel room but may spread to adjacent and more distant non-smoking rooms, hallways, ventilation systems, windows and utility ducts.”

In other words they are now going to use third hand smoke (which by the way was originally discovered through a poll which asked if people thought it might be a problem) to get rid of smoking everywhere.

 Screw Voters

Meanwhile, in California there is yet another tax bill being pondered.  Almost a year ago, voters rejected a big tobacco tax increase in the state.  It was a tight vote but residients said no to the idea.  That did not stop the antis just because they lost at the ballot box, they are trying to impose the same tax via the legislature.  The legislation would increase the tax on a pack of cigarettes by 2 bucks.  But that is not all….according to the IPCPR,


Because the bill would impose an additional tax on cigarettes under the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Tax Law, it would automatically increase the excise tax upon the distribution of tobacco products under that law at a rate that is equivalent to the combined rate of all taxes imposed on cigarettes. Currently, other tobacco products are taxed at a rate of 30.68% of the wholesale cost to the distributor and little cigars are taxed at the same rate used to tax cigarettes.


So bottom line the price of cigars would rise in California under this bill.  Hit them with letters, the IPCPR has a website to explain the bill and help send emails to legislators.  Be sure to let them know today that this is a dumb idea and one the voters already rejected.


Speaking of taxes…the House is now considering that Internet sales tax.  It sailed through the Senate but is being slowed down by the House…that is a good thing.  As we noted before there are nearly 10,000 local taxing districts which any Internet retailer would have to figure out to comply with this law.  This would be bad.  The Cigar Association of America and the Pipe Tobacco Council have come out against this bill.

 “There is nothing fair about the Marketplace Fairness Act. It’s a slap in the wallet for American consumers and businesses,” said Craig Williamson, president of the Cigar Association of America and Pipe Tobacco Council. “The bill is a giveaway to billion-dollar big-box retailers, and is designed to place online businesses at a significant market disadvantage.”? ?The effect of the Marketplace Fairness Act could be particularly damaging for the $14 billion cigar industry, which employs tens of thousands of workers in America and abroad. By some industry estimates, more than half of all premium cigar sales are conducted online or via mail.

Oddly enough, well not really, neither the IPCPR nor the CRA are looking at this.  Granted they are both pushing for the Premium Cigar exemption to the FDA.  That is a big deal, but so too is this.  Contact your Congressman and tell him to vote no on the Marketplace Fairness Act,  which is not fair at all.



National Cigar Day and more by Frank Seltzer

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Ok it was last week…on my birthday coincidentally.  February 27th was National Cigar Day and it is that to commemorate the date that Oscar Hammerstein patented the first cigar-rolling machine in 1883.

He worked in cigar factories in New York when he first arrived and eventually became a cigar maker himself. He became wealthy through cigar making and that money allowed him to pursue his interests in theater and opera.  His grandson, Oscar Hammerstein II became a famous lyricist partnering with Richard Rodgers.  You know their work… these musicals still run on Broadway–The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Oklahoma, the King and I and Show Boat.  Again, all of that from a cigar.


Speaking of Birthdays

Avo Uvezian will soon turn 87.  I saw him down at Pro Cigar and he was still going strong. To mark the occasion of his birth, he will be releasing another new limited edition cigar.  This year’s will be the Dominant 13th.  It takes its name from music the Dominant 13th chord.  (If you really want to know about it check here) The new Avo cigar will be a 6” x 52 toro using mostly Dominican tobaccos with a wrapper from Ecuador.  The cigar will cost $15 and come in a box of 13.  Only 9,000 boxes have been made.  It will debut at the end of this month at a special party in New York City and should be on shelves sometime next month.

New Cigar Company

Well new to us anyway.  The company is called Kuuts.  According to a news release, Compañia Hondureña de Tabacos has opened Kuuts Distribution Center in Miami with the intent of selling 3 new premium cigars to the U-S.  The release says the company sells over 2-million cigars a year throughout Europe and the rest of the world. (The primary company is based in Spain).  Compañia Hondureña de Tabacos has been in business over 15 years and has a new factory in Danli, Honduras which is capable of making 6 million cigars a year.

The three brands coming into the U-S will be the Placeres Reserva, a box-pressed cigar coming in 5 sizes using a Habano wrapper grown in Nicaragua over Costa Rican binder and fillers from Honduras and Nicaragua.  Miró will come in 4 sizes and will use a Sumatran wrapper with Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers.  The Tabacalera Zapata (named for one of the company’s founders Ramon Zapata Perez) will use a Connecticut Oscuro wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and fillers from Nicaragua, Honduras and Jaltepec—which is a Habano seed grown in Mexico.  The cigars are said to be medium to full bodied.

Long time cigar guy John Gonzalez is the Vice President of the company and says he believes they have a great portfolio of products for the US market.  The cigars should be hitting stores in the next week or so.


Denmark says No


According to Christopher Snowden, Denmark has rejected the E-U Tobacco Products Protocols….which is a nice way of saying Denmark is saying no to the E-U’s plan to ban tobacco and even E-cigarettes.  Danish politician Merete Riisager made the announcement on her Facebook page and it says (courtesy Bing  translation):

 I have never smoked, and probably never will come to it, but it provokes me enormously, when politicians from the municipal level to the EU will legislate on whether to smoke or not.

For me, it is a totally inappropriate interference with personal freedom.

In Europe the Committee, I have today helped send a tobacco directive back to the head of the Commission, which among other things would prohibit snuff, cigarettes with flavour, thin cigarettes and cover 70% of the packages with warnings. If customize many countries do the same, the Commission must start over.

If the EU, State and municipalities have managed to make all people non-smoking (what the dog hardly does), we will be healthier, but it is a poor community that want to control its citizens completely into the private sphere. A rich life is to have his personal integrity intact, and even to be able to choose; good, bad, fun, unhealthy, healthy or decidedly silly.

The only thing that is certain in life is that we die at the end. What we do with life while we have it, we even have the right to decide.

If only more politicians would stand up, but alas the next two are more the norm….


Norway was one of the first countries to ban smoking everywhere.  It was back in 2004.  Well now they are relaxing the smoking ban….but not for tobacco.  Guess for what?  Marijuana…posh.  Nope Heroin.  Yup. If the Health Minister in Norway has his way, that illegal opiate would be legal to smoke, but NOT tobacco.  The logic is simply amazing.


Never Compromise

It is often said you can compromise with the anti tobacco side…I find this not true.  They will take whatever they can and then push further.  Case in point, Minnesota has a smoking ban, but along with 11 other states there is an exemption for theatrical productions. Now the state is considering taking it away.

 …a state senator says there’s no reason actors should subject the audience to tobacco fumes or glorify smoking on stage, and she has introduced a bill that would ban the practice.

 But the senator said she is open to letting actors use e-cigarettes or herbal ones.  Right it is tobacco that is EVIL.  Maybe she should move to Norway.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!