No Smoking… Yeah, No Big Deal… But in CUBA?!!!, by Tommy Zman

Okay, we know all about No Smoking laws, right… but in CUBA? Are you kidding me… in CUBA? I am talking about the Island 90 miles south of Key West, Cuba… you know, the birthplace of Fidel Castro, Cuba… the country synonymous with the brown leafy wrapped tobacco stick… yeah THAT Cuba!

cuba-tourismIn 2005, the Cuban government enacted an indoor no smoking law, but business owners scoffed at it, particularly bar and restaurant owners who know that foreign tourists come to the Isle de Cuba to experience the relaxing effect of an authentic hand rolled cigar with their drinks and during a good meal. But now, in a kind of “quiet move” many prominent eateries in Havana’s popular Colonial Quarter are enforcing the law, asking patrons to take it outside if they feel the need for a Cohiba, Monte, or Hoya.

Cuba is a European vacation hotspot, and in some of the articles I read this past week, many British, German, and French, return there year after year, and enjoying cigars wherever they go is a big part of the experience… well, not anymore, and it has seriously 1upset a lot of people. I mean, face it, can you imagine not being allowed to eat chocolate in Switzerland, drive a car in Detroit, or give some punk a beatdown who looked at you funny in north Jersey? Come on, it’s all a part of the culture and that’s what people want and expect, but suddenly their seems to be a smoke-naziesque health police in Cuba who is enforcing the rules, much to the dismay of visiting Brothers of the Habana leaf.

Habaguanex, the state-run business that administers tourist concerns in Old Havana is the group responsible for enforcing the seven year-old smoking law. Tannya Sibori, publicity manager for Habaguanex, said, “”There is a campaign at the world level in which we should also take part, where we are helping to create healthier spaces even for the smokers themselves.” But Tannya, you do realize a statement like that is essentially saying that we cigar smokers are too stupid to decide what is good or not good for us, essentially following the lead of the Big Brother contingent here in the U.S. who feel the need to save us from ourselves. How dare you play God and mandate what is healthy for us when it is OUR choice to do so? I totally understand placating to those who do not smoke and don’t want to breathe in smoke while eating, but we cigar lovers want to be ensconced in the luscious and aromatic blue swirling smokiness of a good cigar, it’s a choice that we freely make. And while you do make the rules and have an obvious agenda, don’t try to bullshit us into thinking that you want to create “healthy spaces” for us smokers. It’s transparent and insulting to our intelligence.

“Cuba has an eternal summer, and you can take advantage of the terraces and exterior spaces,” Sibori said.

cuba-tourism-sunsetTannya, will you listen to me – people who have been donating to your country’s depleted economy for years in the form of expensive vacations – they don’t want to be relegated to a terrace in your balmy tropical heat, when savoring an island puro during their meals has been a part of the romance of Cuba for countless decades. And I think a point to really look at is that Cuba’s tourism has never been hurt by cigar smokers, has it? No, in fact, we all know that its part of the nation’s charm. So do you really believe enacting no-smoking laws will actually help your tourism?

Hey, here’s my open thought to the travelers of the free world… if you don’t like smoke, then don’t visit a place whose economy and culture has embraced premium hand rolled cigars for hundreds of years. Pretty simple, if you ask me.

Good Lord, Cuba and NO cigar smoking? Come on, what will the pleasure police come up with next – no smoking outdoors? Yeah right… can you even imagine?

Stay Smoky My Friends,


JR Cigars Blog with the Zman

••••• Check out this week’s weekly special! > CLICK RIGHT HERE! •••••

dona_lydiaWe’re slashing the price for every size of the delicious, premium hand made Dona Lydia to just $49.95 - that’s only $2 bucks a stick.

At this price you just have to try ‘em and see for yourselves how yummy they are. Since we won’t be carrying them anymore, you should really stock up! These beauties are handmade with the finest aged Cuban-seed long fillers from the famed Oliva farms, a tasty broadleaf binder, and an eye-catching Ecuador Sumatra wrapper. They’re medium-bodied, well-balanced, rich, and satisfying with a unique nutty flavor and sweet aroma. John Oliva thinks so highly of these beauties that he adorned each box with a picture of his beloved wife.

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!