Tobacco Users Must Unite!     February 22nd, 2011

 

By Bob Tate

drowning1

This is not a new article, it is part of a previous article that I have written. I am revisiting it here because I think that it deserves a spot by itself without rehashing the tax article that it originally appeared in. I re-published this part of it with some small revisions.

I am doing this because I am saddened and disheartened by a lot of recent comments by a lot of pipe and cigar smokers. It seems that a lot of smokers still don’t get it that we are all in this together.

——————–

I am very angry at the Government, the Politicians, our so called Representatives, junk science, and tobacco users. Yes, I said tobacco users; especially pipe and cigar smokers! But more on that in a moment; first will be my thoughts on the government and taxes.

I am very sick and tired of the financial raping and pillaging of the government through taxes that are unfairly placed on a certain group of individuals, namely tobacco users. These extraordinarily high tobacco taxes being levied are preposterous, out of hand, and simply unfair. I am also angry about the second class citizenship that people who enjoy tobacco have been labeled with. What happened to ‘all men are created equally’?

I am very angry at the way that our government is handling the current economical situation and unemployment rate. Instead of figuring out a way to create more jobs, they are more worried about their anti-tobacco agenda and actually removing jobs from the work force. When S-CHIP was implemented, there were quite a few retail tobacconist stores that were forced to close creating more people without jobs. The raise in taxes devastated the Roll-Your-Own tobacco industry. With new taxes on tobacco they are going to cause more jobs to be lost and more small businesses to close. Add in all of the pre-existing smoking bans and more bans being implemented regularly and you have even more lost revenue to other businesses outside of the tobacco industry such as bars and restaurants.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree that non-smokers should have a right to go and enjoy themselves at a smoke free environment. But the government should let the choice of whether to allow smoking or not be left up to the business owners and not be forced on them by the government. They force smokers outside in all kinds of weather and then want to start banning smoking outside as well. Enough is enough!

I am very angry, sick, and tired of tobacco users not standing up for themselves and allowing all of this to happen! I am even angrier at cigar and pipe smokers because they are the ones who began dividing smokers into different sects by thinking that the way that they choose to enjoy tobacco products make them a little better and different than cigarette smokers. I don’t give a crap if smoking cigarettes are supposedly unhealthier than smoking a pipe or cigar. It is about allowing people to make their own decisions. Pipe and cigar smokers might think that smoking a pipe or cigar is fine and doesn’t have many negative affects, but I guarantee you that the anti’s don’t care. They want ALL tobacco gone.

A lot of pipe and cigar smokers say;
I knew that the RYO cigarette manufactures and cigarette smokers would ruin it for us”.

This is utter hog wash and, quite frankly, BS! The extraordinarily high taxes should have never been put on RYO tobacco in the first place. Do you really blame the RYO companies for trying to stay in business and not have to close down? A lot of pipe smokers seem to forget that TOBACCO IS TOBACCO. The same tobacco that is in RYO is the same tobacco used for pipe tobacco. There are still Virginia, Burley, Oriental, etc. tobaccos in cigarette tobacco; it is just processed differently. What gives pipe and cigar smokers the right to think that they can smoke tobacco for cheaper than other people? If you want to get technical, all tobacco should be taxed the same and I guess the government is trying to do that.

I am angry that for so many years pipe smokers have been trying to hide in the shadows and stay hidden from the anti-tobacco fight. I have actually read people post that on forums. They would say; “Pipers are such a small group, I’m sure they won’t come after us”. That strategy didn’t work too well, did it? They still came after pipe tobacco and will continue to do so.

Systematic attacks on tobacco, one step at a time. I know that the Cigar Rights of America (CRA) is trying to fight the good fight, but they need to start including other forms of tobacco. WE NEED TO STOP SEPARATING OURSELVES! We are steadily losing ground and are definitely losing the war with the selfish, think about myself, attitudes.

Stop crying, whining, and complaining on online forums and message boards and complain to the people that matter; the government! Stop using the excuse that they won’t listen. If enough people complain, they will have to listen. Even if they don’t, at least you went down swinging!

Stop talking about what you are going to do when tobacco prohibition happens and try to STOP it from happening!

Stop separating yourself from other tobacco users and stand up for all tobacco users and unite in this fight!

We have to put our collective voices together and fight against this forceful removal of making our own choices and being told what to do!
If we don’t fight for ourselves, how can we expect other people to fight for us?

It is never too late to do something about it. I am going to fight until the end! We as tobacco users need to stand up against all of the injustices that have been done to us and start taking our rights back! Join the CRA and once you have joined, lobby them to start including other forms of tobacco.

We need a unified organization like the NRA (National Rifle Association). They don’t just stand up for the rights of rifle owners; they stand up for the rights of ALL firearm owners. They are unified in their efforts to protect the rights of all firearm owners not just a portion of them. We need to do the same!

In conclusion, I would like to direct you to one of my previous articles; Divided We Fall – The Self Segregation of Smokers. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest that you do. We need to unite and fight, not divide and segregate!

A good site that is worth checking out that has a lot of up to date smoking legislation is:
The Smokers Club, Inc.

FIGHT FOR YOUR FREEDOMS!

 

suffer1

 

 

7 Responses to “Tobacco Users Must Unite!”

  1. Kevin said:

    Well said Bob, and I couldn’t agree more!

  2. cortezattic said:

    Yes, our community would do well to take an example from the NRA’s organizational success. Also, major tobacco manufacturers need to exert their influence and financial muscle in the fight to preserve our rights, and their profits. But I get the impression that they’ve been pretty acquiescent in the past 4 or 5 decades, foregoing expensive legal confrontations at home and remaining content to sell their products to developing foreign markets.

  3. Rick said:

    Couldn’t disagree with you more. The public perception of cigarettes is akin to nuclear waste. Associating ourselves with it publicly is foolish. We have two defenses in our fight against the perception of tobacco. One, only the fringe of pipe/cigar smokers inhale. Two, comparing cigar/pipe tobacco to most commercial cigarettes is like comparing a McDonald’s hamburger patty to $20 per pound filet mignon. They might come from the same place, but they are not the same. Cigarettes are chemical laden nicotine delivery devices that are at best distant cousins to a hand made cigar or premium pipe tobacco.

    The upshot of that is some people might take the perception (a rightful one, of course) that pipes/cigars are not at as bad (or bad for you) as cigarettes. Pipe and cigar smokers will never increase acceptance or remove ignorance if we associate ourselves with cigarettes or the addicts that abuse them.

    Behind the scenes, though, the pipe and cigar industries should certainly work together with the cigarette companies, and we could certainly use an industry wide advocacy organization like the beef council or the NRA. But it won’t happen, because no one will have the courage to argue that moderate, or even light tobacco use is ok. And if you can’t/won’t do that, you don’t need an advocacy organization. No other industry has to spend money discouraging people from using their products and supporting efforts for people to quit like the cigarette companies.

    Our best bet is, and will always continue to be to say “it’s not the same”.

  4. group7 said:

    Yes Bob, you are 100% correct in everything you said. We allowed the door to be opened and now the sea of legislation is flowing in to overtake us. The stripping of human rights will not stop with tobacco. It will eventulally lead to food, tv, books, insurances, hell you can’t even buy a car unless it has every accessory you don’t want. We need to start having roundtables at every pipe show to gain some unity. We also need leaders in the comunity. Pipes Magazine and Smoking Pipes are two that come to mind. I’ll end this by saying simple words “how can I help?” Hans

  5. Bob said:

    Rick,
    Most RYO cigarette tobacco is chemical free and natural.
    While I do agree with you that there is a major difference between pipe tobacco and cigars vs most mass produced cigarette tobacco, and your analogy of the burger vs steak is a good one, I still do not think that you get the point that I am trying to make.
    -
    To the anti-tobacco crowd, there is no distinction between any the different forms of tobacco products anyway. In their minds ALL tobacco should be outlawed. Why do you think that there have been bans implemented to stop people from using nasal snuff, dip, and chew? Those types of tobacco products pose no hazard to anyone but the person using them. It has nothing to do with “second hand smoke” anymore. That was just their excuse to get their foot in the door. The anti’s want ALL tobacco gone.
    -
    Another thing to keep in mind is the new fad that is starting at least here in the U.S.A, where companies are starting to refuse to hire TOBACCO users, not just cigarette smoker. They make their employees and prospective employees take a nicotine test along with the drug test. That means if they are using ANY type of tobacco product that there will be nicotine in their system which would then prevent prospects from being hired and current employees subject to disciplinary actions. Once again, this is not held to just cigarette smokers, it applies to ALL tobacco users.
    -
    Once again this subject has turned into a debate between tobacco users about what constitutes a proper choice in tobaccos to enjoy. We need to stop bickering and debating amongst ourselves and ban together.
    -
    This is not about what tobacco products are the least harmful, it is about OUR FREEDOM TO ENJOY A LEGAL PRODUCT. A freedom that is being stripped away.
    -
    I would like to say this to ALL tobacco users, so please do not take this personally Rick:
    LEAVE CIGARETTE SMOKERS ALONE!
    They have the same rights to enjoy their tobacco product of choice just like every one else does.
    STOP REFERRING TO THEM AS EVIL ADDICTS!
    That is just falling into the anti’s lap with their Divide and Conquer plans.
    Stop fighting cigarette smokers and fight against the anti-tobacco people.
    -
    Everyone need to keep this in mind and remember it:
    DEFEND PERSONAL CHOICES!
    You don’t have to agree with someone else’s
    to defend the freedom to make your own.

  6. Rick said:

    Bob, I’m all with you when it comes to people having the freedom to make their own choices. And I agree the Anti-tobacco crowd hates all tobacco, and that won’t change. But, I think we can make headway with the general public (thank you 90s cigar boom). If we embrace cigarettes or cigarette smokers, though, we’ll never gain any headway.

    And just for the record, I didn’t call cigarette smokers “evil addicts”, just “addicts”. That is another important distinction–pipe/cigars aren’t addictive (physically speaking, at least).

    We should all speak out for our freedom to choose, but in a general sense. Trying to defend tobacco use as a right will only turn people off. And lumping ourselves in with cigarettes will only bring our public perception down. We need to elevate it.

  7. thezman said:

    Great article Mr. Tate. I could’nt agree more with you. The truth is most people want to fly below the radar scope. Don’t commit yourself period, for what you know is rite. I know that freedom of choice is a very serious issue indeed. I have taken a stand.

 

 

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