Big thanks to all of you who entered the contest. I really hope that it made some of us think about our cigar rights. It was interesting to see that there is no consensus on the issue - some people think that Barack Obama will be too busy with other issues to pursue anti-smoking campaigns, whereas others are fairly sure that we must expect tax increases in the near future. I found it to be a very interesting discussion - you can read all the answers here.
Let's get to the more interesting part. Our prize, kindly provided by Duque Cigars Company, was a box of Medina 1959 Miami Robusto.
We decided to reward Nicky187 for his amusing and optimistic entry. Congratulations! Here is what he had to say:
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. ;)