Protect the Innocent from Second Hand Smoke

October 4, 2013 · Posted in Assault on Cigars · Comment 

Dear Innocents,

I understand your annoyance at being subjected to offensive odors and the health risks associated with smoke wafting about like a boney hand with a mind bent on murder. And, as a cigar smoker, I cringe at the idea of raising the ire and lowering the life expectancy of most non-smokers. If I have transgressed upon your physical and mental health in the past I sincerely apologize.

Over the last couple of decades America has made many positive moves to protect non-smokers from the ails of second hand smoke by outlawing smoking in most public buildings and in many outdoor areas as well. Here in California, for example, Cal State Fullerton recently became the first CSU campus to become completely smoke free. Why is this such a good thing for you innocents?

According to a 2007 study conducted by a couple of Stanford researchers, if an innocent were to sit within 18 inches of a cigarette smoker who smokes two cigarettes over the course of an hour the innocent would be exposed to the equivalent of an hour’s worth of sitting in a “tavern with smokers.” Personally, I think it’s utterly offensive if an innocent were to innocently sit down next to a smoker and the smoker didn’t immediately put out the cancer stick and walk away in shame.

Sure, according to the same study, if an innocent were to wander no closer than six feet close to a smoker said innocent “would have little problem.” But that’s not really fair when the smoker is sitting in a spot less than a couple of feet from where the innocent would prefer to sit. Why should that innocent have to alter their habits?

Kudos to Cal State Fullerton and every other locale that has banned smoking outdoors. Even though most of the time innocents are just passing through these places and are not subjected to the cold, wispy death grip of smoke for long, most likely not long enough to cause any harm, you can never be too cautious when it comes to such matters. At this point, many other smokers will be nodding their heads in agreement with what has been written here but are thinking that cigar lounges and other places that allow smoking acceptably protect the innocents.

Unfortunately, they would be wrong to even consider that as an acceptable compromise. As most intelligent people already know, people who don’t smoke frequently find employment at establishments that allow smoking. Sure, all of the employees at the cigar shops that I frequent smoke cigars themselves but what if an innocent wanted to work at a cigar shop or, more likely, that’s the only place they could find employment in these troubling economic times? By allowing smokers to light up in these places is unfair to those people.

At this point it goes without saying that restaurant smoking patios are completely unfair to the innocents as well. Prior knowledge that these restaurants allow smoking on their patios isn’t enough. What if the innocents had their hearts set on an al fresco dinner? Or, worse, what if the restaurant only has seating available on the smoking patio? Fortunately, the progressive city of beautiful Coronado has recently made strides to make smoking illegal in almost all cases. It’s not perfect, but it’s progress.

Now my fellow smokers must be in the throes of a nervous breakdown because they will have to admit that smoking outside represents a clear and present danger to all the innocents out there. I’m afraid that my fellow smokers are deluding themselves if they don’t accept this fact. But what about smoking at home? That should protect all the innocents, right?

As we have learned, there is a thing called third hand smoke. If you are not familiar with this danger then let me give you a short synopsis: the homing missiles that are smoke particulates cling to everything they come in contact with and when those smokers venture out into the world they are like suicide bombers that don’t die quickly by spreading carcinogens everywhere they go.

Smoke Face MaskThe only logical solution is to completely ban all tobacco products. This will be tough to enact but it has to be done to protect all the innocents, especially the children. Needless to say, this will be a tough nut to crack but, hopefully, it won’t go as horribly as the War on Drugs. It will take a comprehensive strategy and will probably take a while yet for all those troglodyte smokers to get with the program but it is definitely a worthwhile undertaking. A recent, somewhat whimsical, effort to shame smokers into embracing life can be seen by these Halloween masks made to look like smokers’ faces. They are hideous masks and I’m sure they’ll make some smokers rethink their lives.

In closing, I apologize for everything I and my fellow smokers have exposed you innocents to. The madness must stop and with some effort on all of our parts I’m sure we can rid the world of the disease called smoking.

Sincerely,

Travis

PS: I will have a review of the Quesada Heisenberg up this weekend.

AFGL: CRA, AB, Avo & Breaking In

March 9, 2012 · Posted in AFGL, Assault on Cigars, Cigar Industry, Entertainment · Comment 

A Few Good Links for this week covers some good news from Cigar Rights of America, Alec Bradley’s Red Badge Report, a new Avo and a show that returned from the grave.

1. From CRA is this:

In a significant advancement for the effort to keep the U.S. Food & Drug Administration out of your home and local tobacconist’s humidor, S. 1461 and H.R. 1639 has acquired two major new co-sponsors from the House and Senate.

Representative Fred Upton (R, Michigan) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R, South Carolina) are the politicians who have signed on to fight the FDA. That’s good news and I’m glad we have some more people fighting those who would stomp out our cigars. And a big thanks to CRA for their activism and for keeping us up-to-date on what is going on.

2. Alec Bradley just published the first edition of the Red Badge Report. Here’s a little video (jump ahead to about 0:40):

 3. Then there is the special (can a 100,000 production run be termed “special”) run of the Avo La Trompeta. Here’s the stuff:

Through the subtle balanced Ligero tobaccos and the add-on of Peruvian Seco from exquisite tobacco fields, this special vintage is a medium to full- bodied cigar with complex notes in the aftertaste. The beautiful, slightly oily Ecuador Special Sun Grown wrapper “Seleccion 702” awards this cigar an indescribable spicy and balanced, multi-faceted experience. This cigar converts our thoughts in dreams.

“This cigar converts our thoughts in dreams” – wow. Somebody ate their Wheaties before writing that! More info:

“La Trompeta” presents itself in a majestic and charming cigar format – a brilliant 6 ½ x 54 “Piramide”– the addition of a special feature to pay homage to the jazz trumpet, three small circular cigar leaf cut-outs are placed on the wrapper leaf to resemble “trumpet keys” – limited to 100,000 cigars worldwide with 50,000 cigars for the US market.

“La Trompeta” will be available on March 26th at Select Merchants with a retail price of $15.50 taxes not included.

4. Breaking In is not a great show but it’s fun. At least, it was. With the addition of Megan Mullally and the subtraction of a couple of guys (the kind of up tight one and that other one, you know, the zany guy) the premiere episode wasn’t good. Hopefully it will get better but, well, let’s hope. Here’s a video that I think shows one of the funnier moments from the first season:

AFGL: Bans & Black Market

February 24, 2012 · Posted in AFGL, Assault on Cigars · Comment 

A Few Good Links for this week include three different stories about cigar bans and a review of the Alec Bradley Black Market Gordo.

1. I went to Cal State Fullerton for college and I currently work there so I was one of the first people to read this:

The Academic Senate today (Feb. 23) unanimously approved a resolution to ban all smoking on campus. The resolution will next move to Interim Presdient Willie Hagan, who was among the faculty, staff and administrators who voted for the measure. If instituted, Cal State Fullerton would become the first CSU campus to be totally smoke free.

Yeah for us! We’re trailblazers – wait, no, we have to find a euphemism for “blazers” because I think that has something to do with burning. Any ideas?

2. The Stogie Guys did a story about all the Anti-Tobacco Madness and one of their stories particularly caught my eye. The headline was “Public Health Official: Smoking is More Dangerous than Suicide” but that was a little misleading. Here’s what the health official actually said:

“First, smoking is the single most harmful thing we can voluntarily do to our bodies,” [Director of the Miami University Student Health Center Dr.] Calkins said. “It is most definitively the most dangerous thing one person can choose to partake in.”

Alright, sure, saying that smoking is the worst thing a person can do to their bodies implicitly implies that Calkins thinks it’s worse than suicide and murder and being an Iranian nuclear physicist but what really got to me was that in the span of 30 words he had to use “most” three times. That’s ten percent of the time! I hear smoking helps with mental acuity, maybe the good doctor should consider it.

(P.S. This story was about hookah smoking.)

3. Charleston, South Carolina might be losing its last cigar bar soon. The cigar bar, which was grandfathered in thanks to its unique location (second story over a cigar shop), has an obstinate landlord and will be losing its lease soon. And according to the current law if they lose their location they are out of business; do not pass go, do not collect $200. What do the city’s lawmakers think about this situation? “Tough” seems to be the majority sentiment coming from the grand poobahs of the Southern town.

4. Tom reviews an Alec Bradley Black Market and was indifferent about it. Good review. I think his biggest problem with the cigar was that the draw was tight throughout. That sucks and is detrimental to any cigar.

AFGL: WARNING!, Sosa, LFD Factory Press & Trout

February 10, 2012 · Posted in AFGL, Assault on Cigars, Cigar Review, Sports · 2 Comments 

A Few Good Links this week covers anti-smoking nuttery in Nicole Kidman’s homeland, reviews of the Sosa Underground Delphic and the La Flor Dominicana Factory Press IV as well as a little baseball stuff about why somebody thinks my Angels have the best prospect in baseball.

1. Like a colony of ants after being sprayed by water the anti-smoking fascists are all over the place frantically trying to right all that they see as wrong. In America they are working to affect tax increases on cigars and have the FDA regulate the industry far more than it ever has before. All in the name of health!

It turns out that even in the most rugged of the English speaking countries, Australia, the land of Kidman, Wolverine and kangaroos, they have their own frantic as wet ant fascists meddling in the lives of others. As noted by aussiecigars, the Aussie-fascists want to require graphic health warnings on all tobacco products. I’m guessing they’re talking about holes in throats, Swiss cheese lungs and pictures of this. Like our cigar smoking Aussie friend (whose name is Mark but you have to pronounce it with the cool Aussie accent) points out, that sort of packaging – except for the possible exception of the last example, which I linked to – doesn’t work.

But even if it did work is that the right thing to do? Is it moral? Everybody knows that there is a certain amount of risk associated with using tobacco products… and eating fried foods… and doing extreme sports… and having a swimming pool in the backyard… and just nearly everything else. What’s next? Should we put pictures of drowning polar bears on cars because cars cause global warming?

2. Ben over at Nice Tight Ash reviewed the Sosa Underground Delphic. He liked it a lot. Here’s a sample from his review:

Using a Habano wrapper from Nicaragua with a binder and filler also from Nicaragua, the cigar did have a nice spice note.  That wasn’t all.  The cigar show a nice balance of woodiness, nuttiness (is that a word?) with a nice sweetness through out the cigar.  The cigar also had a nice buttery mouth feel with the smoke as well make the cigar a joy to smoke.  You really can’t beat this cigar for the price.

3. Dave over at the Tiki Bar reviews the La Flor Dominicana Factory Press IV. Dave really liked this cigar making note of flavors like earth, cocoa and coffee. Sounds like a really good cigar.

4. ESPN’s Keith Law has put Mike Trout at the top of his Prospect List for the second year in a row. Maybe the Angels will keep Trout in the Majors for the whole year. Maybe I shouldn’t hold my breath.

AFGL: OSOK, Fielder & Maryland Sucks

January 27, 2012 · Posted in AFGL, Assault on Cigars, Cigar Industry, Sports · Comment 

A Few Good Links today will cover the new cigar from Room 101, why I am happy Prince Fielder is a Tiger and why Maryland sucks.

1. Jewelry craftsman and cigar maker Matt Booth has teamed up with his photographer to come out with a new blend of cigars called OSOK, One Shot One Kill. Now, if you are thinking that name is provocative let me just fill you in on the meaning: by “shot” they mean “photograph” and by “kill” they mean “killer photo.” The photographer, whose name is Edgar Hoill, is nicknamed OSOK and that’s where that comes from. If the cigar is as good as its marketing it should be great.

I like the name and it’s more understandable than one of Booth’s other cigar creations – Namakubi, which has something to do with severed heads and Samurai. I don’t have any definite plans on reviewing either of these cigars but I wouldn’t rule it out.

2. Prince Fielder did not sign with the Rangers (woohoo) but has decided to sign on as part of the one-two punch that is Prince-Cabrera. I guess if you wanted to strangle a joke out of this you could say that Prince, Cabrera and Verlander are now “Detroit’s New Big Three.” (Note to Tigers’ marketing team: I came up with the slogan so you owe me royalties if you decide to use it.)

The reason why I like this is because it puts Prince in the AL Central. The Tigers should be strong enough to manhandle their division counterparts and suppress wins enough so that none of the teams from the Central will seriously compete for the Wild Card. If baseball goes to a two Wild Card format for 2012 that means there will be five teams (Angels, Rangers, Yankees, Red Sox and Rays) battling for four playoff spots (AL West and East champs and the two Wild Card spots).

Anything can happen over 162 games but that really isn’t true. I just can’t envision a world where the Orioles or the Mariners figure out how to win enough ballgames to make it to the playoffs.

3. I’ve driven through Maryland before, it looked nice. But now I’m going to have to say that Maryland sucks because it has decided to increase cigar taxes. The size of the tax increase is a sideshow to the rationale:

“I imagine everyone’s here because of the public health side of the story,” Maryland’s Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said. “It’s also a revenue generating story but that wouldn’t be why you’re here, but rather to focus on the benefits to health of what we’re proposing.”

Saying that the reason they are raising taxes on cigars is for health reasons is as laughable as a guy saying he has a subscription to Playboy so that he can read the articles. States who tax tobacco use want the extra revenue and the politicians who support these onerous taxes want the goodwill they engender amongst the busybody anti-smoking groups.

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