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Midweek Roundup – Too Many to Name

Normally I’d put together a catchy string of words relating to each of the articles for the title of a roundup, but given that this roundup’s batch of stories is particularly difficult to sum up in a word each, I figure it’d be easier to just keep it simple. Anyway, without further delay, here’s this week’s (slightly belated) midweek roundup.

First off, we have a story from the UK. If you search Google News for “cigar,” this should be one of the first things that come up. According to the Sun, among many other online news publications, a family in England has been tentatively barred from fostering a child due to the fact that the father, Paul Baker, smoked two cigars in the last 18 months. That’s not even the worst part. The worst part, to me, is that Baker didn’t even smoke the cigars at his own home—one was at a work party, and the other was at a friend’s wedding.

According to the Essex County Council, anyone who has smoked in the last 12 months is barred from fostering a child under 5. This means that even if you smoked one cigar, away from your home, even if it was at a wedding, you wouldn’t be allowed to foster a kid. Aside from the obvious overly-PC elements, do you think a kid in an orphanage would give up the chance to live in a healthy home just because the father of the house smoked a cigar once at a work party? This isn’t just a blow to the Baker family—this is a blow to any child who needs foster care.

Anyway, the council is in the process of considering whether to appeal the decision, but the fact that is an issue is ridiculous in the first place. Not only is there sufficient evidence that the guy isn’t a regular smoker (Baker’s doctor even vouched for him), but he didn’t even smoke the cigars (all two of them) in his own home! Hopefully the council will accept the family’s appeal. Regardless, expect a follow-up on this one.

Next, we have another step in the California government’s quest to get rid of smoking (and smokers) throughout the entire state. According to California Newswire, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 332, which would allow landlords to ban smoking in rental units. That means that if you rent in California and you smoke, your landlord can decide to change the lease on you and legally prohibit you from smoking in your own home. I don’t even know what to say about this. I personally don’t smoke in my own house, and I’m willing to bet that many California smokers don’t either, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the language in the law was vague enough to ban smoking on your own porch, or in your own backyard, if it’s technically rented. For more information about this stranglehold legislation, check out Cigar Rights of America’s website.

There’s good news coming up—I promise. But first, according to a press release from the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association, Alabama has launched a $13.3 million federally-funded anti-smoking campaign aimed at making Alabama a smoke-free state altogether. As you could well imagine, this could eventually result in a huge blow to small businesses, tax revenues, jobs, and most importantly, Alabama citizens’ rights in relation to using a 100-percent-legal product.

Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR, lambasted the legislators behind the campaign. “These are the very same career politicians – many who no doubt ran on a jobs creation platform – now spending tax dollars to pay a PR firm to kill those very same jobs, right in the middle of one the worst economic downturns in the state’s history,” he explained. “Will someone please explain how that makes any sense?”

Anyway, if you want to get involved, whether you live in Alabama or not, contact Alabama’s legislators and tell them you’re sick of seeing your tax money being frivolously wasted on convincing people not to use (broken record) a 100-percent-legal product.

And finally, we have some good news—according to an article by the Oakville Beaver, a missing 500-pound cigar store Indian statue was returned to his rightful home in front of the Havana Club Cigars store in Oakville, Ontario. The statue had been missing for a week, and was found dropped off behind the Oakville Funeral Home on Wednesday. “I was actually thinking of ordering another,” explained shop co-owner Alex Razek. “This thing is 20 years old and has a history behind it.” Razek credited the Oakville Beaver for the statue’s return, as the paper published a story about its disappearance soon after it happened.

Alright, I know the last story might not soften the bad news blow from the prior three, but unfortunately there’s not too much good news out there when it comes to the world of cigars. It seems like we’re constantly in the midst of a legislative blitz or some kind of PC assault. Personally, it makes me appreciate a bit of good news more than I would otherwise. And hey, at least Havana Club Cigars got their Indian back.

Anyway, that’s it for today’s roundup. If you think I missed anything, feel free to post it in a comment.