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alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
5,321
12,055
Alaska
When I first started smoking a pipe I was shocked to hear that the world of being able to buy pipe tobacco samples is gone. However, during a recent visit to our local tobacconist in Anchorage, the owner was kind enough to give me a sample of Pembroke from his personal stash for free. When bagging it up, he said "The new regulations prevent me from selling tobacco samples, but there is nothing that says I can't give them away!"
This very kind gesture and the attached comment got me thinking. First of all, I thought, Is this true or is this guy just doing whatever he wants? I don't know. But then I thought....
Every tin I buy is pure speculation and as a result I am probably going to end up with a much bigger and more expensive cellar than I would otherwise. It's already happening. That sucks. I'd hate to have to buy a whole box of cigars every time I wanted to try one. My house would be filled with worthless, expensive, dog rockets.
It made me wonder if an online shop could skirt the rules by giving away "free" samples with each tin purchase and just making their tins slightly more expensive to cover their costs. Technically you're only paying for the tin, right? If they can give out free pouches/tins with a pipe purchase, why couldn't they do the same with a tin purchase I wonder? Not sure how they'd make that work.........but I want it.
Maybe have a "members only" club that has a yearly fee, but gives you a free sample with each tin purchase to make it balance out? I don't know, but there has to be some way. Disguise it with some other benefit, like 5% off pipes or whatever to make it less egregious?
Maybe they are just banned from giving out the low quantity even if the price is $0? I'm ignorant...
All I know is for a smoker like me who lights one bowl a week, a shitty tin is like 18-36 weeks worth of assy tobacco. Fortunately, thanks to my fellow smokers on this forum and their excellent opinions, that doesn't happen too often. But when it does it damn near ruins the experience.
I do still let those sit, because they may get better in as little as a few months, but if not, you know, it's a bummer.
The pembroke was delicious and covered in plume.
Anyone have any ideas?.........discuss......

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
29,383
8,733
So far, the regulations have been pretty vague and perhaps intentionally not explained to retailers or pipe smokers. Enforcement could be draconian or non-existent. Trying to decide what would or would not be acceptable, or what would be considered skirting the law, perhaps no one has really decided, and no one wants to referee. Right now, the main goal seems to be to dampen the whole market.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
20,826
13,690
that the world of being able to buy pipe tobacco samples is gone
You can always buy by the ounce. Be happy we still have that, if tobacco is still legal in 10 years I'd be surprised.

 

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mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
29,383
8,733
If pot is legalized, tobacco will be around. No, wait, that's sounds reasonable, therefore unlikely.

 

ryeguy

Member
Oct 4, 2017
146
1
I thought the regulations were the opposite: They were prohibited from giving away samples, but they could sell a very small quantity.
I know I've been to tobacco shops with signs apologetically explaining that due to new regulations they must now charge for smoking a sample bowl of bulk tobacco.
On the other hand, I seem to remember people recently mentioning online shops throwing in some samples with big orders.

 

alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
5,321
12,055
Alaska
You can always buy by the ounce. Be happy we still have that, if tobacco is still legal in 10 years I'd be surprised.
This is true, there is sometimes that option. Again, that's still 10 weeks or so of tobacco for me. But I will grant you I am probably not at the top of the bell curve when it comes to how often I smoke, so the market is probably more tailored to the everyday smoker. I get that.

 

alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
5,321
12,055
Alaska
So far, the regulations have been pretty vague and perhaps intentionally not explained to retailers or pipe smokers.
I thought the regulations were the opposite: They were prohibited from giving away samples, but they could sell a very small quantity.
Could be! Full disclosure: I don't know shit about shit. As usual, I probably should have done more research before posting this, but, ain't nobody got time fo dat! (Let's be honest, I'm at work).

 

blendtobac

Preferred Member
Oct 16, 2009
1,234
166
As we understand it, the problem with selling samples is that you would have had to have sold samples that size prior to 8/8/16. So if you never sold tobacco in .25 or .5 oz. sizes prior to that date, you can't sell them now. It's still up in the air about free samples with purchase. If the FDA finally gets around to defining the regulations, we'll all at least know how to comply.
Russ

 

alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
5,321
12,055
Alaska
Thanks Russ! That makes me a little more clear on the non-clarity. Lovin that Firestorm, BTW.
I'll wait right here on the edge of my seat for the government to get right on that.

 

canucklehead

Senior Member
Aug 1, 2018
337
756
Here in Alberta they are not allowed to give away free samples, and minimum purchase of bulk tobacco is 20 grams.

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
3,189
1,110
Back in 2010 Smoking Pipes used to be very generous with their samples. I still have a 7 ounce tin of PH Special Curley that they gave me as a “sample”. I haven’t received a sample from them in years so I just assumed that it is now prohibited by the law.
Here in Texas you can’t buy under 2 ounces, at least that’s what they claim at Pipe World.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
14,861
8,602
United States
What are the odds of a FDA strike force knocking down your door to find out if you have given away free samples? I would ignore that shit all day. They have no ability to keep track of something like this.

 

trubka2

Preferred Member
Feb 27, 2019
1,632
11,349
They have no ability to keep track of something like this.
Amen, Harris. FDA can barely keep up with its old, core mandates (and often fails), much less this newer stuff, and on such a piddling level.
FWIW - I walked out of a B&M not 30 minutes ago with a free sample in hand (well, in bowl, I guess).

 

kanaia

Senior Member
Feb 3, 2013
491
48
What are the odds of a FDA strike force knocking down your door to find out if you have given away free samples? I would ignore that shit all day. They have no ability to keep track of something like this.
Agreed, but that isn't how it works. What they do is send a snitch into the store, start a conversation with the clerk about pipe tobacco (making friends) and then drop hints about trying this or that tobacco. Finally they drop the can I have a sample bomb and if said clerk doesn't know or forgets the law and gives a sample soon after he leaves the man comes in to write up a infraction. Thats how it works.

 

ryeguy

Member
Oct 4, 2017
146
1
Does the FDA actually do that sort of policing? I know state level enforcement will set up stings for random retailers to check that they aren't selling to minors, but does the FDA do anything similar?

Not to say that if I were a tobacconist I'd risk my livelyhood, but it just seems implausible that the FDA has a budget for that sort of fishing expedition, particularly checking for pressing public health risks like free 1/4 oz samples of pipe tobacco for of-age pipe smokers.

 

alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
5,321
12,055
Alaska
particularly checking for pressing public health risks like free 1/4 oz samples of pipe tobacco for of-age pipe smokers.
Meanwhile Joe six pack is finishing his 14th bud at the watering hole just in time to drive home where his 12 year old daughter is vaping watermelon daquiri spoog juice as they both sit down for a nice KFC dinner.

 

alexnc

Preferred Member
Oct 25, 2015
693
223
I’m with Cigrmaster. I’d ignore that crap all day (with regular customers)

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
16,096
6,496
Monterey Peninsula
Meanwhile Joe six pack is finishing his 14th bud at the watering hole just in time to drive home where his 12 year old daughter is vaping watermelon daquiri spoog juice as they both sit down for a nice KFC dinner.
Along with a couple of supersized bubbly sugar water drinks, and perhaps a nice sundae to wrap it all up.

 

ashdigger

Preferred Member
Jul 30, 2016
5,295
158
What are the odds of a FDA strike force knocking down your door to find out if you have given away free samples? I would ignore that shit all day. They have no ability to keep track of something like this.
Oh how WRONG you are. They (authorities) do underage alcohol buying stings all the time. The news even cheers on the over aggressive authorities. Then they brag about the fines and how their only concern is a safer city.....for the kids.
I wouldn't put anything past what a power hungry, revenue seeking bureaucrat can devise to make themselves more self important as the chase the bigger office.

 

redglow

Preferred Member
Jan 7, 2019
1,722
1,913
Michigan
The government is like a greedy piglet that suckles on the taxpayers teat until they have sore chapped nipples.....
Ron Swanson

 

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