Pipe News

Help Fix the Biggest Threat to Pipe Tobacco

WE NEED YOUR HELP.

We need the TTB (Tobacco Tax Bureau) to to adopt the Pipe Tobacco Council’s proposed definition to differentiate Pipe Tobacco from Roll-You-Own (RYO) cigarette tobacco as proposed in rulemaking Docket TTB-2010-0004. Without this definition, pipe tobacco is in danger of having it’s tax rate equal that of RYO, which threatens the very existence of pipe tobacco.

Many of you may be aware of this situation, and some may not, but this is an URGENT update regarding the biggest threat to pipe tobacco and our beloved hobby. There are myriad details that will be left out of this post for the sake of brevity and expediency.

Here is the general situation. (You can research the details if you wish.) Roll-Your-Own (RYO) cigarette tobacco was punished with a 2000% tax increase about a year ago. The RYO companies saw this coming, and re-packaged their product as pipe tobacco. It wasn’t long before anti-tobacco advocates, and tax-hungry government officials figured out that they were losing hundreds of millions of potential tax dollars. Their simple solution – increase the tax on pipe tobacco to bring it in line with RYO and the loophole is closed. There has already been one bill that thankfully died in committee, but a new identical one has already been proposed.

Pipe tobacco could possibly become extinct.

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You can raise taxes on cigarette tobacco as much as you want and that industry will never die. Cigarette smokers are too addicted to quit. However, if pipe tobacco taxes come into line with RYO, there are not enough pipe smokers that will continue to smoke to make it worth producing. The market is too small. Pipe tobacco will likely no longer exist, or in the least, many producers will go out of business.

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It’s obvious that tobacco in general is extremely vilified. However, pipe smokers have a much more benign image. There have been literally hundreds of times that industry professionals have worked behind the scenes to protect the life of our hobby when none of you knew about their efforts. Thousands of hours of hard work have been put towards defeating tax increases, anti-smoking ordinances, etc. The simple message is that pipe tobacco is different and should be excluded from harmful tax increases and other types of laws.

However, the situation with the RYO loophole now has many saying that pipe tobacco is not different and shouldn’t be treated differently.

To solve this problem, the Pipe Tobacco Council has proposed a definition of pipe tobacco that differentiates it from RYO. Unfortunately, this proposal is sitting at the bottom of the pile, and the longer it sits there, the greater the risk that taxes on pipe tobacco will be brought to the level of RYO.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

We’ve made this as simple and easy as possible for you. By utilizing an online automated system, you can quickly send correspondence to your Senators and Congressmen, politely asking them to get the TTB (Tobacco Tax Bureau) to move this up on their list and make the ruling that will define pipe tobacco and remove the threat of it’s extinction.

It is free to send emails. The system requires your zip code to determine the correct representatives. Optionally, and recommended for maximum impact, you can have printed letters sent for $3.00 each.

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Click Here to Take Action Now!

 

Often times, people also do not realize that things like this affect jobs as well.

See the letter from Missouri Meerschaum below.

 

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    Michael A. D'Elia Jr
  • May 18, 2011
Please do not vote to include Pipe tobacco with roll your own ciggarette tobacco. They are not the same thing. You will ruin a relaxing hobby for thousands of Pipe smokers who enjoy and support this wonderful art. We often receive very favorable comments regarding the aroma of our tobacco when smoked outdoors.
So, kill the part of the bill that effects piple tobacco. It is a different catagory altogether.
Mike D'Elia Zip Code: 19440
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    Paddy Glenny
  • May 18, 2011
Whereas I appreciate the issue is potentially a very serious one for American pipe smokers, and whereas I appreciate that the majority of the members of this forum are American, many members are not American!
In the article/alert above, you make several references of the danger to the existance of pipe tobacco- but, frankly, in the usual Americocentric way, not one single qualification to say that this threat applies only to American consumers, but does not affect pipe smokers in other countries.In point of fact, most of us have had to endure far higher taxes on our tobacco for decades- possibly you guys don't know how easy you've had things......
Another point I'd like to make is that it would probably make commercial pipe tobacco prohibitivly expensive (in the USA), but you know what I do? I grow all my own tobaccos, and cure them for my various pipe blends.
My smoking costs me not a single penny, just some spare time, and to be blunt my tobacco is as good as anything you can buy, but alot less adulterated (not one single thing is sprayed onto my plants, and only water is added during the curing process).
Gentlemen, every cloud has a silver lining.....maybe this will get more people growing and curing their own tobacco, and return it to the wonderful, pure smoking pleasure it was before commercial interests turned it into the additive and adulterant laden product it's become.
With great respect,
P Glenny
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    Paddy Glenny
  • May 18, 2011
Sorry- I forgot to say my username is Tobaccoblender.
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    jimbo
  • May 18, 2011
OK. I just sent the e-mails AND the letters to my reps in Washington. I hope it helps.
However, this plays into the hands of the antis by DIVIDING tobacco users so we can be more easily defeated and ELIMINATED. The non-smoking public makes little differentiation in the different types of smoking/tobacco use, even if we do.
The entire anti-amoking movement is the enemy... not the RYO makers who were first hit with this 2000% tax increase. They did what they had to do to try to save their business.
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    fharstad
  • May 18, 2011
done
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    Captain Bob
  • May 18, 2011
I most certainly signed the petition and emailed my Representatives. The fact that the RYO folks used pipe tobacco as their scape-goat only shows that they have no respect for us! It back-fired on everyone. Did they really think their re-label as pipe tobacco would work? They are taking the pipe community down with them. It is not all for one and one for all. It's every man for himself in this very sad situation!
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    stdog
  • May 18, 2011
While manufactured cigarettes and some RYO tobaccos are different (mainly due to expanded and reconstitutes produts) a lot of tobacco has little differentation.
For decades Prince Albert has been somked in pipes and rolled as cigarettes. So, is it a pipe tobacco or RYO? How do you tax it?
Bob, RYO did not scapegoat anything. Most of the RYO companies that changed, are small firms producing tobaccos that are quite smokable in a pipe. I use several in both roles.
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    metropolmodern
  • May 18, 2011
Signed, commented & paid for 3 letters to go to sensate. Please do the same! Thanks
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    metropolmodern
  • May 18, 2011
^Senate. Sorry, got a little passionate there. ;^)
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    pipeline
  • May 18, 2011
What is the Pipe Tobacco Council's definition of "pipe tobacco"?
I want to help, just like to know how I am helping to distinguish PT from RYO.
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    kats
  • May 18, 2011
GREAT point Jimbo!!! I agree completely.
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    FireDragonX
  • May 18, 2011
My letters have been sent. I think we need to remind our politicians about the "Boston Tea Party" - It might need to happen again!!
Mark
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    Bubba
  • May 18, 2011
I have signed, sent the emails, and ordered the letters!
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    Bob Skinner
  • May 18, 2011
Please do not increase the taxes 2000% on pipe tobacco as was done on roll your own tobaccos. I'm 64 years old, have been self employed all of my life and still have to work to help pay for my $17,400 BC/BS health insurance coverage with $10,000 deductible because my social security (started at age 62 to help with my health care costs, won't come close to paying health insurance premiums let alone ordinary living costs.
We go out to eat about once a month and take a 5-6 day vacation every 3-5 years, generally in Wyoming or Colorado and don't go to movies anymore. One of the few pleasures I have left is smoking a pipe. Please don't take that away from me, too.
Please get the TTB (Tobacco Tax Bureau) to make the ruling that will define pipe tobacco as different from roll your own tobacco and remove the threat of it’s extinction.
Regards,
Bob
reference:
Roll-Your-Own (RYO) cigarette tobacco was punished with a 2000% tax increase about a year ago. The RYO companies saw this coming, and re-packaged their product as pipe tobacco. It wasn’t long before anti-tobacco advocates, and tax-hungry government officials figured out that they were losing hundreds of millions of potential tax dollars. Their simple solution - increase the tax on pipe tobacco to bring it in line with RYO and the loophole is closed.
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    John H. O'Kelley
  • May 18, 2011
AT 72 I'VE BEEN SMOKING AND ENJOYING MY PIPES, FOR A LONG TIME, AND FOR SOME YOUNG "CUNT" TO TELL ME WHAT I CAN AND CAN'T DO HERE IN THE GO0D OLD USA...WHAT SEEMS TO BE OUT OF STEP WITH THE ULTRA LEFT WING YOUNG PEOPLE THAT THINK THEY ARE SO ABOVE THE CITIZENS, THEY WANT TO DO WHAT'S BEST FOR US!
LIKE OUR first lady, WE NEED TO EAT THIS OR THAT......MAY I TAKE THE LIBERTY OF SAYING; SHE IS DOING HER FOOD POLICE BULL CHYT THAT THE FOOD WE EAT IS NOT GOOD FOR US.....SHE CAN SIT ON HER ASS AN ORDER IN PIZZA, HAMBURGERS, AN ETC....
MY GRAND PAW DIED AT 90, MY MON DIED AT 90...MY GREAT PAW WAS 98 AND MY GREAT GRANNY OUT LIVED HIM AND PASSED AT 100...MY GREAT UNCLE, WE ALL CALLED HIM "UNCLE MILT", AND LIVED TO BE 105......THEY ALL DRANK "WHITE COUNTY, GA." CORN WHISKEY"..AND SMOKED A PIPE AND ROLLED CIGARETTES, "PRINCE ALBERT" AND CHEWED APPLE CHEWING TOBACCO.....NOW PICTURE IF YOU WILL, ONE OF THESE NEW LIBERALS TELLING MY KIN FOLKS WHAT TO EAT AND LAY DOWN THEIR PIPES AND ETC...THEY WOULDN'T MAKE IT BACK TO THEIR CAR.....
TAXES ON TOBACCO, ABSURD---HOWEVER THE SPENDING "BASTARD'S AND "BASTORETTES", THE ASS HOLES NEED THE MONEY...
BEFORE IF GO HAVE A SNORT OF GA. CORN I'LL LEAVE THES THOUGHTS WITH YOU: DO THEY TAX COCAINE, POT, AND ALL THE OTHER DRUGS???
JOHN "O"
PS: HAVE YOU OR YOUR FRIENDS EVER HAD BEEN ROBBED FOR MONEY TO BUY A PACK OF CIGARETTES?
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    John H. O'Kelley
  • May 18, 2011
KINDLY OVER LOOK MY ERRORS, SORRY BUT I DO GET ON A ROLL.....WE ARE THE END OF A GENERATION THAT DIED TO KEEP US FREE AND DON'T YOU KNOW THESE REAL AMERICANS ARE TURNING OVER IN THEIR GRAVES SAYING WHAT THE "FUCK", DID WE DIE FOR!!!IT'S NOT APPRECIATED......
IF I EVER WANT TO ANY ONE DESECRATING OUR FLAG, I'LL SHOOT THE ASSHOLES.......
TO MANY GOOD MEN DIED SO THESE "DIP SHITS" HAVE FREEDOM TO SPEAK THEIR MINDS.....
ONCE AGAIN I GET ON A ROLL! ALL THE MEN IN MY FAMILY SERVED DURRING WWII....
I THINK MY GA. CORN IS NEEDING TENDED TO.....
JOHN "O"
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    ajwinter
  • May 18, 2011
I happily obliged, below is a portion of what I sent to my representatives.
Allow me to express my gratitude in the event that through our collective efforts, the TTB establishes a clear delineation between RYO cigarette tobacco, and pipe tobacco. We as pipe smokers are rather fond of the seemingly esoteric past-time of pipe smoking. In differentiating between the two types of tobaccos, we may continue our practice of what many of us consider to be a lost art. The enjoyment of an evening pipe is the highlight of my day; visiting with my local tobacconist and discussing the merits of various blends is a joy I can hardly express. Moreover, may I stress the fact that the only thing cigarette and pipe tobacco have in common is that they both produce smoke; the two renderings of the leaf are otherwise profoundly dissimilar. One more thing: continual tax increases on pipe tobacco will put many, albeit small merchants out of business. It is important to keep in mind that these are the shops that also carry hard-to-find shaving soaps, straight razors and hones, and other particulars that are often hard to come by. I'm sure that I speak for many when I say that the elimination of these merchants would only perpetuate the homogeneous mercantile banality that plagues our shopping options. Please, do your part in keeping a small group of consumers and merchants happy. I appreciate your consideration on this matter.
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    kashmir
  • May 18, 2011
Hey John H. O'Kelley, although much younger than you, my sentiments exactly! Couldn't have said it better myself. Somewhere this country took a major wrong turn.
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    kashmir
  • May 20, 2011
Hey Kevin & gang,
Thanks for putting this thing together. I sent the emails out and enclose one FYI below. Please pay particular attention to the "Afterthoughts" section at the bottom. I wanted to make a statement that we are not just representing ourselves, as pipe smokers, but we are literally the upholders of the flame for all those who went before us. We are the bearers of history. And the list is one hell of a list, thanks to Joseph Cruse Johnson, for his website “Famous Pipe Smokers”, from which many of these names were derived.
As members of the pipe smoking community I would really like to urge you to visit and study Joseph's website. Its a life changer for the pipe smoker to know who came before and "what it all means".
His site is: http://josephcrusejohnson.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html.
Here is my letter:
May 19, 2011
Dear Representative Payne:
Dear Senator Lautenberg:
Dear Senator Menendez:
Dear Sirs,
My name is Dr. Eric Boehm, and I am one of your constituents and a Tobacco Pipe Smoker as well. I need your help. I have become quite alarmed that Roll-Your-Own (RYO) cigarette tobacco has been fraudulently labeled as Pipe Tobacco in order to evade taxes and it is making it difficult for me to find legitimate Pipe Tobacco in the market.
After researching the subject, I found that the TTB has been made aware of this situation, and they have a definition that has been proposed by the Pipe Tobacco Council to define the product under the proposal for rule-making Docket TTB-2010-0004.
If you could have someone in your office contact the TTB at 202-453-2000 and ask them to issue the rule that has been proposed, I would be greatly appreciative.
Afterthoughts: Let’s test your IQ on the World History of the 20th Century. Run your eyes down this list of names and see how many you recognize. Collectively, I would argue, these men actually made the 20th Century, both literally and figuratively. To a man, all avid pipe smokes, each and every one. Moreover, many lived well beyond the average lifespan of their day, many passing in their mid- to late-eighties. We current tobacco pipe smokers actually represent the historical legacy of the community of world pipe smokers, a community which, in the not too distant past, encompassed some 40% of the adult males in the United States. Lest it not be forgotten, these anonymous pipe smokers were our grandfathers. Although far fewer in number today, we nevertheless still hold the candle to the memory of these men and the deeds they accomplished, with, of course, pipe in hand:
Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, Norman Rockwell, Orson Wells, JRR Tolkein, Douglas MacArthur, Admiral Arleigh Burke, Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain, Bing Crosby, President Gerald Ford, Carl Sandburg, Harold Macmillan, Konrad Lorenz, Errol Flynn, Edgar Rice Burroughs, John D. MacDonald, Warner Baxter, Thomas Selfridge, Charles Nelson Reilly, Ossip Zadkine, , Max Frisch, , Paul Casals, Jack Lynch, Patrick Moore, Anthony Hulme, Ronald Colman, Alexander Kent, Jacques Brel, Lino Ventura, Alfred Wainwright, Rudolph Bultmann, Philippe Sollers, Jean Gabin, Leo Malet, G.E. Moore, Gilbert Ryle, Edmund Husserl, J.L. Austin, Lalo Schifrin, James Whitmore, Anthony Quayle, Ralph Richardson, Bernard Grebanier, Jean-Paul Sartre, Stanley Holloway, , Carl Jung, Paul Kruger, Curd Jurgens, Gerard Walschap, Trevor Howard, Tony Benn, Rod Hull, Trevor Baylis, Joss Ackland, Frank Muir, Manny Shinwell, Jack Hargreaves, Warren Mitchell, Rupert Davies, Russ Abbot, Van Gordon Sauter, Walter Cronkite, Robert Fulghum, Milorad Pavić, Glenn Ford, Erwin Shrodinger, Moustapha Akkad, Evelyn Waugh, Harold Wilson, Bertrand Russell, Alf Landon, Edgar Buchanan, Dean Jagger, Edward G. Robinson, Rudyard Kipling, Aaron Spelling, P.G. Wodehouse, Allen Dulles, Otto Klemperer, Henry Fonda, Lee Van Cleef, Jack Lemmon, Peter Cushing, Barry Fitzgerald, Hume Cronyn, Graham Chapman, Nigel Bruce, Bennet Cerf, Raymond Chandler, Alexander Graham Bell, Arthur Frank, Richard E. Byrd, Gregory Peck, Albert King, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Edward Abbey, Juan Trippe, Frank Sinatra, General George S. Patton, Jacques Derrida, Hurbert Hoover, Sid James, Fred Trueman, Vincent Schiavelli, Eric Morecambe, Stephen Fry, Fred Thompson, Roscoe Dickinson, Guy N. Smith, Gunter Grass, Sean O'Casey, A.A. Milne, Sir Compton Mackenzie, Laurie Lee, W. Somerset Maugham, J.B. Priestly, Andre Dubus, Gordon Parks, F.A. Mitchell-Hedges, W.W. Denslow, William Conrad, William Gillette, Edwin Hubble, Rober Oppenheimer, Niels Bohr, Robert Young, Clark Gable, Fred MacMurray, Ralph Bellamy, Cary Grant, David Ogilvy, Sir Winston Churchill, Kind George VI, Arthur Miller, Ernest Hemingway, John Ford, Shelby Foote, Herschel Burke Gilbert, Thomas Johnston Taylor, Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Sir John Mills, Owen Barfield, Alan Christopher "Al" Deere, Elliot Harold Paul, Healey Willan, Harold Tucker Webster.
I thank Joseph Cruse Johnson, for his website “Famous Pipe Smokers”, from which many of these names were derived: http://josephcrusejohnson.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html.
Sincerely,
Eric W.A. Boehm, PhD
Assistant Professor, Microbiology
Department of Biological Sciences
Kean University, 1000 Morris Ave.
Union, NJ 07083
Tel. 908-737-3654
Email: eboehmjr@gmail.com
Research Website: http://www.eboehm.com/
Tree of Life Website: http://tolweb.org/Hysteriaceae/29322
Photography Website: http://www.streetphotographyisrael.com/
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    cortezattic
  • May 20, 2011
I'm onboard too, resignedly. I'd much prefer that tobacco wasn't taxed at all; but I'll march in lock step as it means doing something rather than rolling over (no pun intended).
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    pipeline
  • May 20, 2011
I answered my own question above and read the Pipe Tobacco Council definition, along with the other definitions submitted to the TTB.
The Pipe Tobacco Council definition is manufacturer oriented and time indexed (i.e., brands existing pre and post January 1, 2009). It then leaves the feds to define pipe tobacco thereafter with precious little specificity, just categories. The definition leaves too much arbitrary power to the feds, and it leaves one with the sense that future competitors in the pipe tobacco business will be at a disadvantage, since they will not have had blends on the market before the index date of January 1, 2009.
The Altadis definition troubles me, as it also appears to justify the way Altadis processes tobacco to the exclusion, possibly, of other manufacturers. I oppose this definition at it core.
The National Tobacco Company definition does not seem to have the anti-competition weaknesses of the two mentioned above. Mentioning specific forms of tobacco is useful, as well as the presence, but not necessity, of condiment tobacco.
I have zero affiliation with any of the above companies or any tobacco-related enterprise. Just like to know what I'm hitching my wagon to before the ride begins.
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    group7
  • May 20, 2011
As of Friday noon 20 May 2011 there are only 400 people signed up and 950 mail messages sent. There is no reason at all if you are a pipe smoker not to sign this bill. Kevin has made it as easy as can be and I really doubt if the tobacco Nazi's are going to beat a path to your door. So get off your butt and do it now. There is no reason this should not have 10,000 signers and 30,000 mails sent. group7
aka Hans H
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    tobaccoblender
  • May 20, 2011
Hi Pipeline
Can you tell me where you read the Pipe Tobacco Council's definition?
Thanks....
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    pipeline
  • May 20, 2011
tobaccoblender:
I googled "TTB-2010-0004" and this is the link to what came up TTB-2010-0004
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    pipeline
  • May 20, 2011
I guess the hyperlink didn't work. Here's the link referenced above http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-07-22/html/2010-17957.htm
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    kashmir
  • May 22, 2011
C'mon guys & gals, get those letters out!
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    Michael
  • May 24, 2011
Smoking pipe and smoking cigarettes are two very distinct experiences. I have smoked a pipe since the 1970's. Most often at home in the evening. It's no way akin to cigarette smoking.
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