League of Fat Bastards: Raising Awareness for Men’s Mental Health

League of Fat Bastards: Raising Awareness for Men’s Mental Health
Date: May 2024
Author: Inspector X

Adam Levine, the Australian founder of League of Fat Bastards, is using his cigar brand to raise awareness and funds for men’s mental health. By donating forty percent of profits to related charities, Levine aims to challenge the “suck it up” mentality and support mental well-being worldwide.

His mission is not to avenge his puppy and his car, nor to make you move like Jagger. Instead, Adam Levine, the Australian founder of League of Fat Bastards, is on a mission to create awareness about men’s mental health. That’s why League of Fat Bastards donates forty percent of their profits to charities in the countries where LOFB cigars are sold. Currently, the cigars are on the market in the United States and Singapore, with distribution agreements for Malaysia and New Zealand already in place and talks with distributors in other Asian and European countries ongoing.

Hanging out with John Wick

He looks like the most popular and deadly hitman in Hollywood.
He has the name of a rock star.
And he’s on a mission.

Recently, Inspector X had the opportunity to hang out with Adam Levine for a few days to learn more about the man, the mission, and the cigars. All three are interesting. Levine is a self-made millionaire and, from the outside, appeared to be a successful man. However, in 2019, Levine saw his whole world crumble due to severe depression. Unable to do anything or find a way out, Levine attempted to take his own life twice before a glimmer of hope emerged. Luckily, Levine found the same fighting spirit as his grandmother, with whom he shares a birthday. His grandmother survived four years in a concentration camp during the Second World War. With the help of a therapist, Levine was able to climb out of the dark hole he was in. His grandmother is not his only connection to the atrocities of the Second World War; Levine’s grandfather was one of the Jews saved by Schindler’s list.

The three things his therapist told him were: 1. Declutter your life, 2. Stop and smell the roses, and 3. Be kind to yourself. The first thing Levine did to declutter was to arrange his cigar collection. An avid smoker for 25 years, after getting bitten by the cigar bug in 1994 while working in London, he had an extensive collection of cigars scattered in several humidors around the house. Organizing them made him feel like he had some sort of control again, and he continued to organize other things around the house to improve his mental state. He literally stopped and smelled the roses of one of his neighbors; Levine even told me he still does every now and then.

Cigars and Raising Funds

During his recovery, which will be a lifelong process, Levine noticed that there wasn’t much attention given to men’s mental health. Men are often expected to just “suck it up” and go on. With the global number of suicides rising, it’s clear that the “suck it up” mentality isn’t the right approach. So, he began thinking of ways to raise awareness for men’s mental health and raise money for the cause as well. Cigars were the first thing that came to Levine’s mind, as it’s a male-dominated world, and brothers of the leaf can support other brothers of the leaf. Indulging in cigars is a social activity, so why not use that social character to create awareness and funds for the cause?

Through his network, he was introduced to Juan Martinez from Joya de Nicaragua, who from day one was more than supportive of the idea. The blending process was done over Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic. Joya would send cigars to Australia for Adam to try; Adam would smoke them on a Zoom call with the factory, and the blenders worked with his feedback until the final blend of the League L, the first release of the brand, was finalized. And it’s just the start; LOFB has plenty more cigars coming.

A release that’s coming out soon is the Giggly Piggly, a cigar catered to police forces all over the world, with a little nod to the derogatory “pig” nickname for cops. The launch will take place in Miami soon during an event for 150 law enforcement officers. As with the regular line, forty percent of the profit will go to mental health causes, but for this cigar, the donation will be made to a charity focused on police officers. There’s also a cigar in the works for females, the Skinny Bastardas, as close to one-fifth of the cigar community consists of female cigar smokers. LOFB also has collaborations in the works with other brands, including a very interesting medical study where the effect of smoking cigars on your mental state of mind will be measured.

Just Cigars?

LOFB isn’t going to stop with just cigars. Levine has a vision to create a mini LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy), a lifestyle company with several divisions. Cigars are obvious, but Levine is also working on fragrances and scented candles. Together with his partners and craft breweries, there will be a series of non-alcoholic beers and an accessory line for both cigars and fashion in the works. It probably won’t stop there, as Levine has a creative mind and a way of convincing people to collaborate with him. His story is compelling and true; he’s open about his struggle and genuine in what he wants to create. “If I can only help one brother from going through the struggle that I went through, I’m already successful,” he said to me.

Technology also plays a part in the future of LOFB. Each cigar ring has a QR code. When you scan that code and give LOFB permission, they can geo-locate you. The brand wants to partner with cigar bars, restaurants, hotels, and other venues to offer deals to people at that specific location. For example, when you are at one of the Real Hermanos cigar lounges of the Malaysian distributor for the brand and you scan a cigar, LOFB can offer you a discount on your next drink if the lounges partner with the brand. Or maybe in the future, you can scan the ring and save points for an NFT; there are plenty of ideas and opportunities with this technology.

Now, if you have read this whole story and think to yourself, “Great story, but how are the cigars?” I can tell you, I love them. They are interesting enough for an experienced cigar enthusiast like me but easy enough for inexperienced smokers too. The cigar isn’t going to blow your mind as the best cigar in the world, but that wasn’t the intention. It will satisfy cigar enthusiasts. I smoked one in the morning, even before breakfast, and enjoyed it. I also smoked the cigars at night after dinner, combined with a nice rum old fashioned, and enjoyed it just as much.

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