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Former New York City mayor and long time cigar aficionado Rudolph Giuliani has been recognized by Cigar Rights of America, and granted an honorary lifetime membership into the organization. Giuliani is of course best known for leading New York through the worst tragedy in the city’s history on 9/11/01, but his overall body of work during his 8 year term as the city’s mayor cannot be overlooked. Cigar Rights of America presented him with the membership and plaque to commemorate his leadership of the city and of course his passion for fine cigars. The award was presented by J. Glynn Loope, executive director of the CRA, and Ron Melendi, president of the New York Tobacconist’s Association. Loope, speaking of the reasons behind this award as well as the other CRA Lifetime Membership given to Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman, said
“We’re creating an alliance of current and former office holders that are obviously cigar enthusiasts, but secondarily are able to help us in the community by advocating a cigar political agenda in a manner that we can’t always get across ourselves.”
That sounds like a good plan to me, I like the idea of having some powerful allies in the fight against excessive tobacco legislation.
Giuliani also did an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine that had a bunch of great information that I really appreciated. It’s neat to hear him talk about his first cigar (a White Owl), as well as the small but vital role that cigars take in behind the scenes political negotiations. I especially like the way he talks about smoking legislation, smoker’s rights, and the right for people to choose. It’s clear that NYC’s new mayor does not feel the same way, and since Giuliani’s departure there clearly have been a number of changes in NYC smoking laws that basically trample as many of smoker’s rights as possible. He spoke of many of NYC’s smoking laws that were in effect during his tenure as being designed to keep the rights of both smokers and non-smokers in mind, and make laws that were fair and accommodating for both, like allowing smoking in restaurants that had a separate and properly ventilated room just for smoking. I’m going to close this out with a hearty congratulations for Mr. Giuliani from us humble BCP employees, and leave you with my favorite quote from his interview:
“People who want to smoke, should be able to smoke. As long as they can do it without hurting other people. Even if I wasn’t a cigar smoker, it would make sense to me that people should have places to smoke. There should be a reasonable number of places for people to smoke. Not everywhere.”