Cigar Rights Contest

Here comes another contest at CigarInspector.com. Once again, it is sponsored by Duque Cigar Company and Thomas Hunter. This time, there is a serious reason behind the contest, besides giving a chance to win some fine cigars (a box of Medina 1959 Miami Robusto) to one of our readers. As you have all noticed, there is a holy war against cigar smokers in the United States and in Europe. Smoking bans, regulations, tax increase... it's been going on for a long time and won't stop in near future if we do not act. We do need to preserve our cigar rights.

In order to enter the contest, all we are asking you to do is to think about your cigar rights. What do you think will happen to your cigar rights during new president's term? Just answer this question in the comments area and decide whether you need to take action.

Medina 1959 Miami Robusto box

On the 23rd of December, we will select one lucky winner who will get a box of Medina 1959 Miami Robusto (rated 4 1/2 stogies by The Stogie Guys), courtesy of Duque Cigars. You need to be over 18 years old and live in the continental US to enter. Good luck!

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36 Comments on “Cigar Rights Contest”

  1. Here is what I think will happen. More cities will impose smoking bans. There will be at least one tobacco tax increase, including cigars.

  2. Creekend UK says:

    Not a lot here in the UK………..
    But as you’ve assumed your excellent site is only used by Americans you wouldnt know that.
    We are already social outcasts and less than 1% of Brits smoke cigars so we can annoy more of the retards whilst enjoying the leaf ourselves.

    Keep up the good work,

    ROY.R
    Essex, UK

  3. Roy,

    Thanks for your comment. Indeed, the question is mostly aimed at Americans because they are living a major change at the moment.

    I agree with you that not a lot will happen in Europe, because the harm is already done with the global smoking bans. I can’t see a tobacco tax increase in the near future, can you?

  4. Personally, I don’t think any anti cigar or even anti smoking campaigns originating from the White House, mainly because Obama is a smoker. However, I do expect more sin taxes across the board, as that is the one concept both parties agree on. That being said, I don’t know whether activism for cigar rights is going to do anything unless the cigar companies pony up the dough necessary to play in Washington these days. I know on a “leafroots” level its going to be tough to motivate folks to march, picket or the like when they could be inside their local cigar store still exercising their cigar rights with a neat bourbon or single malt scotch.

  5. Being that President Elect Obama is presumably an ex smoker (closet?) I don’t think anything will happen. He has continually preached he is for the little guy. There is enough taxes and restrictions that he would say, lets leave it be, at least for now. They don’t need to be hit there.

  6. I do not expect any new anti-smoking initiatives to come from the White House. The new administration seems to have its hands full with two wars, the economic disaster, the deficit disaster, the health care disaster, not to mention the utter collapse of the social contract. It seems to me that there are really critical matters that require serious attention without spending time and energy on suppressing a few cigar smokers.
    At least I hope so.

  7. zestoman2000 says:

    I think president elect Obama will lift the ban on Cuban cigars and all the travel restrictions to Cuba some time nearing the end of his first term. Obama just has too much on his plate with the wars and recession to worry about raising taxes and imposing new restrictions on smoking.

  8. I think the biggest threat is the SCHIP funding. BHO will need to walk a fine line about tax increases and expecting full funding from another “sin” tax.
    With his global outlook I think we need to make it clear to him and our Congressman that the lively hood of 400k plus workers in this industry that reside in Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, etc will be drastically affected. Then there is the loss of business and more tax revenue within our borders that will likely be the outcome. With many states now running w/a deficit due to the economy where spending from a cup of coffee to new cars has hit bottom we need to call our Governors office and let them help us.
    Bottom line I do not think we will escape an increase. .40 cent per stick tax is in the works I heard. Oddly enough CI magazine and the Big Smoke made hardly a whisper. Have they rolled over?
    Not much to find about SCHIP over at CRA also.

  9. Re: What do you think will happen to your cigar rights during new president’s term?

    I’ve been a cigar smoker since the age of 17, and I’ve loved almost every moment of that. The one exception involved turning as green as the Candela wrapper on the p.o.s. that I was smoking, and vomiting into a trash can, but that’s another story.

    I think that in the short term, the only thing we’ll see is continued anti-smoking initiatives, and increased excise taxes on tobacco products. That’s the downside. The upside is that the tobacco industry is too entrenched and generates too much revenue for it to die off in the U.S.

    In the long term, I think that in the U.S., cigarette smoking will decline, while “smokeless” tobacco and cigar smoking will maintain at about their present levels, as a percentage of the population. I see the reasons for this as being mainly cultural acceptance of “smokeless” tobacco and cigars continuing in the segments of the population where they are typically strong.

    I don’t think that President Obama is going to do very much to change the present status of tobacco use. The only exception to this might be if there is more emphasis on preventive medicine. That is going to depend on whether tobacco users are treated differently than non-tobacco users by the health care system. I doubt that this is feasible even under one payer national health care.

    So, the basic answer that I’m going to give is that I expect to see the status quo continue to be the status quo, at least for my lifetime. On the other hand, I think I’m going to send President Obama a box of good cigars, purely to congratulate him on his historic victory. ;)

  10. CharlestonCigarFactory says:

    I don’t think anything will come out of the White House. I think locally and on the state levels the anti-smoking groups will continue to push their agenda. I am hoping that the pro-rights groups (from both the right and left) will fight back and let good compromises prevail. The rights of business owners should be taken into account as well as the ideals of certain groups. Hopefully we can have a few years, at least, of common sense and balance.

  11. I don’t think that taxing smokers will be a high priority for the Obama administration, but I also don’t think opening trade with Cuba will be high on the list. I expect talks to start with Cuba within a couple of years, where guidelines will be set for Cuba to proove that they are making headway on humanitarian issues. A few years later, we will probably see trade opened. As far as the taxes, maybe that money will be helpful for our global healthcare system, which might be useful for uninsured smokers. Either way, I see good things happening.

  12. Once Obama becomes president, he will cave in to Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank and the other Socialists in Congress to impose the SCHP tax on cigars. It may not be 6000% as originally requested but it will be substantial, leading many to not be able to afford good cigars and once more infringing on our right to…..”the pursuit of happiness….” as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. The fact Obama smokes means nothing. Politicians get away with murder, literally, for crying out loud.

  13. I don’t think President Obama will give smokers much grief, initially, he has more urgent issues to deal with. As a cigar smoker, and with all smokers in mind, I find it absurd that government should take action to prevent me from smoking. I am an adult, and if I choose to frequent an establishment that permits smoking, I do so with the knowledge that I will be exposed to smoke. The anti smoking groups want smoking banned in all places, and for our mates in the U.K. even smoking a stogie in your own yard can elicit a fine? We are currently engaged in two wars in countries led/influenced by religous extremists. What makes the rabid anti tobacco people any different? Too far to the right or left is not going to provide for the common good of all. I have written my State Rep. Senators etc… imploring them to consider the rights of all their constituents. If an establishment decides to ban smoking, so be it, and vice versa, the consumer is the one who can make the informed choice whether or not to frequent that establishment, NOT the government!

  14. I see the SCHIP tobacco tax possibly going through because you’ll have Pelosi and all the others like her in congress pushing for it and I don’t see Obama vehemently opposing it. He’ll just sign it. Will it have an impact on cigar sales? I think yes. The taxes may not be as high as first suggested but I think they could be significant enough to have a serious impact on the industry. People will most likely not pay let’s say $2, $3 or $4 more per cigar. If the price of cigars goes high enough where the majority of smokers can’t afford them your tax base goes away and you have accomplished nothing.

    If they seriously want the money funded via a “sin tax” they should look at a broader tax base and in a way it wouldn’t jeopardize the industry. If the government were to look at liquor which has a vastly larger consumer base and add just 5 cents tax to each drink you ordered while at a bar or dinning out, most people would pay the extra 5 cents per drink and go on with their evening because it not a severe impact on the individual level. With the larger consumer base these tax revenues would dramatically outpace a tax on cigars. I enjoy going out for drinks and would keep doing so if the price went up a nickel per drink but buying cigars at a drastically increased price would be of major concern.

  15. As others have noted, my initial thought is that we will not see any significant changes coming out of the White House due to the more pressing issues that will be facing President-elect Obama as he enters office.

    However, I have my suspicions that as these initial issues are addressed we will see a tax imposed but it will not be as significant as many fear.

  16. The tax is not meant to be a viable source of income for the government. It is meant to stop us from smoking.

  17. I don’t think that cigar smokers will come under attack. It was the previous administration that was dedicated to taking away constitutional rights. This administration respects the constitution and the rights of the individual. Individual states, such as California may work to further erode smokers rights but the federal government will not get involved.

  18. Buttcrack is a smoker, and a Liberal. The only thing that will change, as far as the federal govt. is, maybe an added tax on locations that allow smoking. This of course will not apply to the white house.

  19. We will see a tax increase at the federal level with SCHIP if they get around to passing it. Rumor has it though the Cigar Industry and the Legislative Branch have come to an agreement on the Cigar Tax in SCHIP.

    At the state level with all the problems governments are having raising funds I’m not sure if enforcing new smoking bans will be high on the priority list. Several counties in Ohio gave up enforcing it from what I’ve heard. Unfortunately it isn’t any counties around here. I do think we will see some huge increases in sin/luxury taxes on tobacco in several states.

  20. I think that part of the way Obama will pay for a new health care bill will be to raise taxes on tobacco products, including cigars. I don’t think any smoking bans or anti-smoking policies will come from Obama directly. However, I do think we will continue to see more and more smoking bans. They just passed a new smoking ban in my home town.

  21. At some point they will realize that if they keep us from smoking, their tax income will diminish to nothing.

  22. Raising taxes is a given with the Dems in control! SCHIP is the only way they can pay for the health care they want, and if you think they will tax cigars so high they will lose their tax base, figure the amount of tax on cigarettes and alcohol now.

  23. Carol Wingert says:

    I personally think we need to just do what we went as far as smoking goes. I refuse to let anyone tell me that I can’t smoke.

    In our little town, the mayor was going to propose banning smoking in our parks! “We shouldn’t smoke around children”. But the drug deals are going hot and heavy, and nothing is being done.

    What is this world coming to??

  24. Clearly, the opinions here lean toward ban increases and taxes. The fringe idiots notwithstanding, I would agree that President-elect Obama has a lot more important issues to deal with. I doubt that any federal level changes will be instituted but any pressure toward taxes and bans will be at the State or municiple level. If we can influence the insurance Nazis and the religious-right that seem willing to anything to enforce their thin view of what is appropriate for the rest of us there may be hope.

  25. I believe that only a tax increase on cigars will happen here in the United States under the Obama Administration. Plus the fact that he will probably end the Embargo with Cuba thus the influx of Cuban cigars to America, which will in turn bring out more and more smokers wanting to get in on the action. He would be a fool at that point to go after anymore smoking laws! Remember anything that would stimulate the economy at this point, is a good thing.

    Europe, not sure?

  26. with the financial crisis beating us to a pulp, the probability of new tax’s has to taken highly likely ! but , i don’t think there would be any major tax increase on cigar’s.. it would most likely come from the local level , which in turn will only hurt the b&m’s in your’s and my town’s.. people will stop shopping at their local shop’s to avoid these tax increases, which will lead to cigar shop closures. they will start frequenting the online store’s to avoid local and state tax’s. thus the state’s that have tax increases will actually lose momey because of the lose of revenue. kind of a catch 22 huh !

  27. roberthbrown says:

    I think that anti-smoking laws will continue to be passed, and eventually we will only be permitted to smoke inside our homes. I think that there may be some increase in taxes under the next administration when the SCHIP comes through congress. I don’t think they’ll be stupid enough to put the taxes on cigars that were in the original version of the bill last year, but I wouldn’t bet against the stupidity of congress.

  28. During President Obama’s term more and more local governments at the state level will continue tightening the reigns on where people can smoke and unfortunately there will be hikes in sales taxes, this is inevitable. I am not sure whether the cigar industry has lobbyists in Washington and at the epicenter of anti-cigar hot spots (NY, CA, MA, etc), but there needs to be. Many in the government are “influenced” by these lobbyists and I believe this is necessary for all who want to preserve their freedom to smoke cigars. I am aware of Cigar Rights of America, but don’t know whether they actually employ full time lobbyists in D.C.

    Imagine having fiscally responsible people controlling the budget at the national, state, and municipal levels! Wouldn’t that be something?!? Instead, like many people in America, the government spends what it has, continues to spend what it doesn’t have, and then scrambles to figure out how to minimize the effects of its reckless spending habits…unfortunately what this means for all of us is higher taxes on cigars, “non-diet” products, ipod music downloads, and every other kind of enjoyment that people like. Crazyness….

  29. Hopefully we’ll see cubans become available for real in the USA (and hopefully only real ones show up, hahahah yeah right!!).

    Who knows what we’ll see happen with tax but they should give cigar smokers more of a break than cigarette smokers who use more often, anywhere, anytime. Cigars take planning and care!

  30. I believe SCHIP will pass, but with a much lower cigar tax then originally proposed.

  31. I am hopeful that Obama continues to be a minor/closet smoker (I HATE cigarettes so I do not like for him or anyone else to smoke them) who then happens to receives a killer/super premium/ultra tasty cigar as a gift and after smoking it realizes that CIGARS are truly for the gods, presidents, heads of state and cigar lovers just like you and me to enjoy. After reaching this ephiphany (sp?), he will decide that cigarettes are the true evil of the world but that CIGARS may truly bring about world peace.

    Of course, to seal the deal – I hope the cigar he gets is either a Cohiba Siglo VI or a Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona or a Monte #2. If this happens, we are golden and CIGAR smokers the world over will be able to rejoice.

    It’s possible – ya think???

  32. I feel that the government will have to increase the taxes on almost all items we use. How are they going to pay for all the programs they are going to start

  33. In the name of liberal freedom we will be saved from our own obvious stupidity and stopped from smoking anything but dope almost anywhere including our own homes.
    Yet another step toward our new obamanation.

  34. During Obama’s new term, I don’t think there will be an outright ban, but I do think tobacco taxes will be raise by a LARGE margin. They won’t ban something they can tax heavily and make money off of it. I do think you will see more city wide bans and even some state wide bans of smoking in public areas.

  35. I have a little panic whenever i think of smoking bans, especially in private. I understand that the politically correct, anti smoking brigade has won the hearts and minds of the general public so well, but it would be a sad day not to be able to afford the occasional cigar, taxes or banned or whatnot. I relish my time in China where I can sit inside, while it’s raining out, and enjoy silver service, great food, and a cigar with friends and strangers. Almost makes you feel a stranger in your own land!

  36. I do not feel that our rights will be taken and bans will further be issued. The president, state, and local agencies are counting on us to keep money flowing into the economy. They might not allow cigar smoking at little league baseball games, inside stores, malls, or clubs…but they want us to smoke these stogies just as much as they always have. I feel we are safe currently from having to think about letting cigars go, this is not on the current presidents agenda at all. He has much more to worry about.

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