Politics & Cigar Smoking


In my mind there are 3 things that should never be discussed in a cigar shop and those are 1) Religion 2) Politics and 3) Another man’s wife. Well I am about to create what some consider a cardinal sin by mixing politics into a Cigar Blog and mention the CRA again. Don’t cringe to hard.

A few months back the Cigar Rights of America announced the Smoke the Vote campaign and stated, “From now until the fall elections, we’ll keep you posted on critical races throughout the nation, focusing upon the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate and the Governor’s Office in each state. We’ll let you know about their records, suggest those that would most benefit this passion for cigars we share. We’ll let you know about voter registration, state and federal issue updates, and how we’re growing this base of Cigar Voters.”.

A good idea to educate cigar smokers about who is tobacco friendly, but a bad idea as it can alienate the winning politician if they did not back tobacco. But this never materialized and if not for the New York Tobacconist Association sending out a newsletter this weekend about Andrew Cuomo and his backing of a lower OTP cap I many not of decided to blog this piece.

When it comes down to it, should we as a cigar smokers really be voting for someone based upon their views on tobacco? Sure I can understand people who own a business doing just that, and I can understand the manufacturers of the world supporting such a candidate. However, as an American I thought this was a little shallow. There are so many issues that are plaguing this great nation of mine that tobacco has to take a back seat to things. There is hunger, homeless, education, the deficit, unemployment, transportation, health care and more that need to take a front seat in these mid term elections. To vote just based on tobacco is crazy and short sited. It just so happens the candidate I support in the race for New York Governor is also allegedly tobacco friendly. Yes, despite voting Republican the last few elections, I am voting Democrat and I support Andrew Cuomo as the next governor of New York.

As far as smoke the vote, does anyone know who the CRA supports in other races?

Remember to get out and vote next week because if you don’t vote you do not deserve a right to complain about the state of politics in the USA.

We will return tomorrow with a review and a promise to not bring politics again until the Presidential election.

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  • http://kremersmoke.com Jeff Mouttet

    While I agree that it may seem short-sighted to vote only on tobacco issues, it is not short-sighted to vote along the lines that say government needs to leave some things the hell alone. While I’m not a dyed in the wool libertarian like some, this overriding nanny-statism (yeah, I made that up) that we’re dealing with is ridiculous, and if the CRA can point me in a direction that leads to politicians that will stand up for personal liberty, I’ll sure take a long, hard look at them before I vote.

    Nice article.

  • Wham I Am The Man

    i wish janny garcia and/or tatiana miranda would run for public office. i would vote for them……..

  • http://havacigar.blogspot.com/ Chief Hava

    Religion is an issue of faith, not fact. As such I agree with you on this being an inappropriate topic of discussion. Likewise, speaking about someone’s wife…even more tricky.

    On politics, I strongly disagree. As you point out, there are many critical issues facing our nation. It is our duty as citizens to be informed on the issues. Sadly, opposing views are becoming harder and harder to come across in our sensationalized media.

    Cigars provide a common bond and sharing a smoke provides a perfect opportunity for two rational men to discuss and cordially debate opposing sides of the issues of the day. It has long been this way and so it should remain.

    The problem arises when the discussion is not respectful at which point it should end.

  • http://www.tikibaronline.com dmjones1009

    I have to agree to having severe misgivings about even potentially voting for someone just because they are “cigar-friendly.” I am a cigar smoker. I am also a gun owner, pro-life, pro-Fair Tax, pro-legalization of most drugs, and a born-again Christian. I believe that the best government is a small government that is put in place to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…pursuit, mind you, doesn’t mean you’re going to catch it!

    On all these issues, I have a hard time voting for or against a person based on their beliefs on a single-issue. For the most part single-issue voting is silly and short-sighted. So what I do is vote for the candidate who best defends personal liberties…in the end, that person is likely to be more friendly to cigar smokers than the other guy anyway, even if the other guy smokes 5 a day and works in a factory (Fidel Castro was no defender of personal liberty). Most of the time you can probably well guess which major party gets my vote as there really is only one of the two parties that is currently concerned with personal freedoms, at least on the national stage (third parties don’t really count at this point. I would love to vote Libertarian Party, but they have practically become the “Legalize It Party”–another single issue.).

    And is this appropriate to discuss? Absolutely! I can’t see how you can be a cigar enthusiast and not have strong opinions on politics–there is an orchestrated effort to deny you of your right to smoke! Discussing in a shop is usually going to be better, though, than online. These are big issues that cannot be well condensed to 140 characters.

  • AJ

    tobacco is the enemy until they need something to tax. friggin’ bullshit.

  • http://www.fireupthatcigar.com Adam

    I think politics is 100% okay to discuss in a cigar shop as long as it is, as Skip, aka ChiefHava said, “respectful.” In Wisconsin we have a race for governor in which a Republican Scott Walker is facing off against Democrat Tom Barrett. Now, I am a moderate conservative and I usually vote Republican, however, I truly despise Mr. Walker because I think he is a weasel and he has no real plan for Wisconsin. However, he does support repealing our state-wide smoking ban which I truly feel violates my rights as a Cigar Enthusiast and in general is bad for our cigar culture in Wisconsin. Tom Barrett on the other hand has a real plan, a very good plan for getting Wisconsin back on track. However, he does not support repealing the smoking ban. Cigars are my passion, my hobby, and are extremely important to me and I think it’s very important that we spread our cigar culture so that some day we can have the numbers to put up a real fight against legislation. I don’t think it is at all “shallow” to vote for what is important to you and take issue with that statement. With all that said I am still undecided on who will get my vote one week from now. Who knows, maybe I’ll write myself in for Governor just for principle.

  • http://www.stogiereview.com Jerry @ The Stogie Review

    Here in the DC area everywhere you go people are talking politics and it gets old. So when I go to the cigar shop the last thing I want to be part of is the tired ass “left vs right” arguments. Now, that’s just me and I wouldn’t stop others from “debating” but it lessens my enjoyment and it doesn’t feel like I’m “escaping” to relax.

    We all vote for different reasons. Is it short sighted to vote based on one issue? Maybe but its my vote to cast on what is important to me. With SIDS being near and dear to me, I’m supportive of those who support more funding for research and/or support funding for those local/state/government agencies that reached out to us in our time of need.

  • Israel

    Well said, Jerry. I think that everyone has certain issues that take a back seat to others. If someone wants to vote strictly on a politician’s position on tobacco bans/taxes, then that’s their right as an American voter. I don’t think that voting on one issue over another is shallow.

  • http://twitter.com/PuffingPolitics Puffing Politics

    If you like this (which I do) you will like the this blog. http://www.puffingpolitics.blogspot.com

    There is a tie between those who smoke and those who think.  At least that is my opinion.

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