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  • Writer's pictureBen Balliro

Ban It!

Updated: Mar 16

Smoking bans are nothing new, in fact they have been around since the 16th century when King James I (b.1566-d.1625) mutilated and tortured snuff users and hanged pipe smokers. Rodrigo de Jerez, one of Columbus’ crew members, was imprisoned for seven years after being arrested for smoking in public. The Spanish Inquisition had labeled him “demonic” for blowing smoke out of his nose in public; today we call this demonic act retrohaling. Ever since, there has been a social battle for rights and privileges to enjoy premium tobacco. Especially in today’s age, there continues to be a Veil of Ignorance when it comes to tobacco, specifically premium tobacco such as hand rolled cigars and pipe tobacco users. There are countless “studies” completed around the globe that prove banning smoking makes this world a better place. Economy’s grow, life expectancies increase, and everyone is smiling and happy in their Willy Wonka fantasy. Just in case you were not aware, there is a major distinction between cigarette smoking, and cigars. The problem, as I have mentioned many times before, comes from banning “tobacco”, in any form, for any reason, at any time. This blanketed form of discrimination puts everyone in the same category, in the same way McDonald’s hamburgers causes obesity, therefore all hamburgers should be outlawed nationwide. It’s important that we distinguish between premium, and non-premium tobacco products.

Given the current situation we are in, premium tobacco users are forced to adapt and educate the public so we can enjoy our Starbucks coffee, cheeseburgers, gallon sized buckets of soda, and yes, even our premium peace. As a premium cigar smoker, there is but one vice I enjoy above most others...enjoying a cigar and coffee in the morning outside enjoying the fresh air. So guess what really grinds my gears?

You guessed it, outdoor smoking bans. Now before I get too far into this I want to make something very clear, this segment is not dedicated to cigarette smokers. Smoking a cigarette is a different lifestyle and has different consequences from premium cigars.

In order to adapt, we create our own spaces such as man caves, backyard pergolas, I’ve even had friends up north use winter huts to creat a comfort zone from the cold. If you Google search, “how to build a cigar smoking man cave”, you will find 2 reoccurring fundamental components of its architecture; proper ventilation and circulating fresh air. If you are already outside, however, you are utilizing 100 percent of outside ventilation. The entire virtue of enjoying premium tobacco is to relax and reduce stress. One of the simplest pleasures in life is enjoying the outdoors with the very byproduct of nature itself.

On the flip side, giving the mass populi unbridled freedom to enjoy cigars without compromise would be foolish. I heard this phrase many years ago…”My rights, priveleges, and freedoms end where someone’s rights and priveleges and freedoms begin…” Cigar smoking, like most vices, requires a certain level of responsibility and respect for those around you. Mutual respect is crucial to create harmony without conflict and most premium tobacco users are adapting each day to make life more comfortable for themselves, while respecting the space of our fellow men and women who choose not to smoke. All we ask in return is the freedom to enjoy our products without smokerism and unnecessary hindrance. We want to enjoy the fruits of this great land of ours, and we are willing to respect the laws of that land, even if the people in charge of that land...are snowflakes. Thanks for reading.

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