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  • Writer's pictureBen Balliro

Want vs. Need

Updated: May 14, 2021

Most of the time when I’m trying to catch up on the latest cigar news, I find myself wondering how can something so simple, become so complicated? I not only like to read about current cigar news, but also historical cigar news. For example, the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement or the M.S.A. Of 1998. According to the Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamlin School of Law The Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) is an accord reached in November 1998 between the state Attorneys General of 46 states, five U.S. territories, the District of Columbia and the four largest cigarette manufacturers in America concerning the advertising, marketing and promotion of cigarettes. In addition to requiring the tobacco industry to pay the settling states billions of dollars annually forever, the MSA also imposed restrictions on the sale and marketing of cigarettes by participating cigarette manufacturers.”

The MSA forced the tobacco industry to pay billions of dollars in antismoking campaigns and compensate the participating states to endorse smoking cessation programs and Medicaid costs. Honestly, I don’t really have a problem with that. Cigarettes are highly addictive, expensive, and cause cancer at an alarming rate. However, my concern is not the Settlement between the states and big tobacco. The problem of course is that everyone is focusing on the “tobacco” side of things, and not really focusing on the physical and chemical differences between cigars and cigarettes. I’ve written a blog on this before called “Top 5 Misconceptions“ in which I discuss the differences between the two. Cigarettes use over 600 ingredients added to them to make them burn a certain way, look a certain way, and become addictive to consumers a certain way. Premium cigars by contrast use no synthetic chemicals, and only use water after harvesting the leaves. I find it misleading to continue this campaign against tobacco, when tobacco is nothing more than a leaf grown in the field. The consumption and addictive properties between cigars and cigarettes are significantly different as well.

I’ll show you what I mean...

According to Statista Research Department, a survey published on Aug 20, 2019

shows the number of cigarettes smoked within one day on average in the United States in 2019. The data has been calculated by Statista based on the U.S. Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS). According to this statistic, 0.82 million Americans smoked 40 or more cigarettes a day in 2019.

Statistically cigar smokers tend to smoke in moderation and relaxation whereas cigarette smokers tend to smoke because of a chemical dependence and much more frequently. I mean think about it, when was the last time you saw a coworker step outside from his or her retail job or office for a quick “Arturo Fuente Eye of the Shark” fix? Never right? That’s because enjoying a cigar is usually for an extended period of time, and made to relax you. I know this argument has been made before Congress, news interviews and a myriad of cigar blogs, but it’s also important to remember that if the Government is going to tax our industry and our taxpayers and retail lounges that it’s for an actual benefit to society and not to simply blanket regulations for everything just because it involves the word “tobacco”. The USFDA itself has said that enjoying between 1-2 cigars a day has a “nil effect on the human health”.

I cannot and will not sit here and say that smoking cigars is something everyone should do to reduce stress or have a good time. There are many different avenues to achieve that without smoking a cigar. However, the consumption of either a glass of wine, or a cheeseburger, or a slice of chocolate cheesecake is not healthy either, but enjoying one of those every now and again in moderation, can be just as enjoyable and delicious without adversely affecting your overall health. It all comes down to personal responsibility and not blaming the government, advertisers, Big Tobacco, or anyone else. That’s how enjoying a cigar should be. It should something you enjoy either with company or by yourself. You can create memories and enjoy a cigar at the same time without having to stand outside in the cold, rain, or scorching sun so you can get your nicotine fix until your next 15 min smoke break.

I recognize this viewpoint has objections and different sides to this coin. We at Cigar Tipsters are open to different approaches and debates to either educate the public, or become more educated ourselves. If you have a different viewpoint please feel free to contact us and we can discuss it on our next podcast. Thank you for reading!

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