Boycott Bullshit: No Cigars Means No Smoking!

Happy Shootin’ DudeThe sometimes loved, sometimes loathed angry, irritable Brian returns today to discuss an issue that’s bothered him for a while now: Bullshit smoking policies. In particular, a policy that both wastes your time and insults you with surprising efficiency.

As I’m beginning this post, I’m on my third attempt at getting lunch. The previous two establishments I’ve tried failed a very simple test and have officially been added to Brian’s Bullshit Boycott list. That’s right, I sick of this ridiculous crap, and I’m not gonna sit idly by and let the anti-cigar bigots continue to operate in ignorance under the radar.

Who’s on the list and how did they get there, you ask? I’ll tell you. And I’m naming names and pulling no punches. I’ve spotted bullshit and and I’m calling the bullshitters out on it. They got on my list by failing a simple two question test.

Brian’s Bullshit Detector Test

Question 1: Do you allow smoking?

If they answer no, they pass the test. I support a business’s right to go the non-smoking route. To be honest, there are places I just don’t want to smoke a cigar or smell second hand smoke. (I know, I know, that’s sacrilege. A crime almost worthy excommunication from the world of premium tobacco. I’ll do my “Hail Don Pepin” penance later.) For some reason, a sushi bar comes to mind here. (You thought I was gonna fail ‘em if they said no, huh?)

If the answer is yes, then the follow up question is asked.

Question 2: Do you allow cigar smoking?

If the answer is yes, then they’ve not only passed the test, they’ve probably just been added to my unofficial list of favorite places. However, if the answer here is no, you’ve just detected bullshit.

OK, so you’ve detected something foul in the state of Denmark, now what? Do you walk away? Do you quietly sit down and abide by the rules? Do you kick the unwitting test-taker in the Jimmy? No. (And please don’t assault the wait staff, they don’t make the rules, they only follow them.) Here’s what you do.

How to deal with a bullshit peddler

Step 1: Educate.
Because they’re not yet sure if you’re a customer yet, you have a captive audience. Tell them that cigars are made of exactly the same thing as cigarettes. In fact, it’s made of fewer things. And cigar tobacco has been aged to reduce the amount of nicotine and other chemicals naturally present in the leaves! (Cigarettes, on the other hand have been processed to increase the amount of nicotine, and contain additives to improve their burn.) Cigars both smell better and release fewer chemicals into the air, making them arguably less of a health hazard. You might be surprised, they might actually agree with you, even though they can do nothing about the policy.

Step 2: Announce your intentions.
Tell them simply, “If you don’t allow cigars, you don’t allow smoking. I cannot support an establishment with such biased and hypocritical policies. I’m taking my business elsewhere. Please pass this along to the management.” Bonus points if you take the time to fill out a comment/complaint form. Doing this makes it more likely that management will actually get your feedback. Kudos to you if you take the time to do it!

Step 3: Leave.
When it comes to the world of commerce, few things speak louder than money. If you continue to patronize a shop with ridiculous and discriminatory smoking polices, you are supporting those policies.

And the Crusader Step: Revisit And Repeat
This step is for true Knights of the Premium Leaf. Brothers of the leaf that want to go above and beyond the call of duty can return to the same establishment in three to six months and repeat the process. You never know, they might change their policies to reflect the feedback they’ve received from cigar smokers, and you might find a new cigar-friendly establishment. If you do, give them your business, and tell them why you’re there! Otherwise, you have the opportunity to strike another blow for cigars and cigar smokers in your community.

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a war in progress. And I’m not talking about Iraq. I’m talking about the war on cigars. This might sound like a tremendous hassle, but if we want to continue to exercise our right to smoke cigars, it’s time we all adjust our dangling man-orbs and make our feelings known the way they’ll be most appreciated. With our wallets. It’s the most powerful weapon we have. (And if you haven’t done it recently, why not head over to the RTDA website and tell your congressman to knock it off with the excessive and punishing cigar tax increase?)

Oh yes, and I said I’d name names. These establishments are the first on the newly created Brian’s Bullshit Boycott list:

  • Taco Mac at Lindberg (Most of them have a stict no-smoking policy, which is fine, but this one allows cigarettes, but no cigars! Bullshit!)
  • Everybody’s Pizza in Virginia Highlands
  • Highland Tap in Virginia Highlands

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13 Comments

  1. babychaos said,

    September 24, 2007 at 6:56 am

    I hear you but I still reckon any smoke while I’m eating is bad news… even if it smells good, which cigar smoke does, it’s going to change the taste of my food and most importantly, when I put my nose to the glass, the smell of my wine.

    We can agree to differ though…

    Cheers

    BC

  2. babychaos said,

    September 24, 2007 at 6:57 am

    PS… I do conceed that cigarettes but no cigars is WAAAAAY wrong! Warped and sick! ;-)

  3. Brian said,

    September 24, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Hi BC,

    We agree more than you think. (There was one establishment I used to avoid in my old hometown because it just reeked of cigarette smoke, and so did you after five minutes!) That’s why I favor the smoking policy being left up to the proprietor of a given establishment. I don’t think everyplace should be forced to accommodate smoking, nor should every place ban it (obviously). That way there will be smoke free places to go, and places that are smoker friendly, and you as a patron get to decide where you’ll spend your money. It’s a win-win. Sadly, some people have decided that it’s not enough that they not smoke when they’re out on the town, they want to force everybody else not to either. And to aid them in their prohibitionist goal, they bring in the power of government to enforce their preference.

    Of course the crux of my post isn’t smoking vs. non-smoking. It’s smoking minus cigars. And, as you said, that sort of policy is warped and sick!

  4. Joe (capnpfff) said,

    September 27, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Awesome article B-man, I wholeheartedly agree.

  5. Brian said,

    September 28, 2007 at 10:04 am

    Thanks Joe, I’m glad you enjoyed it! I hope you’ll join me in my B.S. boycott!

  6. babychaos said,

    September 28, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    We have the total ban here… nobody is allowed to smoke anything in public any more. In a way I’m glad because all the pubs and clubs were like the one you used to avoid. Walk in the door and you’d reek of cigarettes for a week. But places like gentlemen’s clubs and the like, I can’t see the problem.

    As one of our comedians put it the other night, the total ban poses a tricky social problem, ergo, what will mask the smell of BO in night clubs now? His vote, by the way, was for pumping the smell of cooking bacon onto the dance floor! Hmm… I’m not sure.

    Cheers

    BC

  7. Brian said,

    September 29, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    Yeah BC,
    That’s exactly what I’m talking about. There are some places where it makes sense that the establishments would have a no smoking policy. But then there are others where it’s completely ridiculous to impose one. Cigar shops for example. You go there to buy and smoke tobacco products. Nobody is surprised by this, and no body is a victim of the smoke at a place like this. The bottom line is tobacco is a legal product in the U.K. and in the U.S. therefor there should be public areas where people can sue said product.

    Cheers!
    Brian

  8. October 1, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    [...] you’ll note, I did say “almost nothing.” In keeping with my crusade against discriminatory B.S. smoking policies mentioned last week, I fought the good fight again at a local martini/tapas/sushi bar. It seems that since the last [...]

  9. Brian said,

    October 1, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Hi BC,
    I almost missed your comment!

    Yeah, I’ve heard about the total ban in the UK. And it’s a shame. It’s one less freedom you have over there. You can no longer set up an establishment for people to get together and enjoy a good smoke. Of course, people who don’t smoke won’t feel any different, but people who do are decidedly less free.

    How about cooking bacon and Budweiser? That sounds like a winner to me! LOL

    [EDIT: Oops! It looks like I already did respond! Stupid spam filter, it's developed a taste for my comments!]

    Cheers,
    Brian

  10. January 1, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    I have to say your rant section is the shit. This is what America is about. I’m digging up more of the past here at your site ;-)

    Personally, I hate alcohol. The smell repulses me (despite the fact that I used to drink heavily and loved it). People get loud and rational conversation becomes difficult, if not impossible. I believe it is a potent drug much like coke. And believe me, back in the day I dabbled in just about everything.

    Just the other week I was exposed to second hand alcoholism. A chick rear ended me at a stop light and smelled of the stuff. Should I crusade on banning drinking? Hell no.

    At cigar events in a bar, I simply don’t drink, and deal with the drunks who are in my facing wanting to talk. If friends are having a beer, I man up and deal with it. It’s my choice and I’m good with it. Why would a cigar bar be treated any differently then a regular bar? Doesn’t make sense… Ban them all or don’t ban any.

    Unfortunately, we have become such pussies these days. We are a lazy people. We get on bandwagons to take away choice, not realizing it may be our choice that is taken away next.

    I say suck it up. So the guy next to you is smoking. Big deal! Be a man and deal with it.

    By the way, totally off topic… The lady who rear ended me left a nice message on my answering machine. The ‘about this video’ explains. I think you may enjoy it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw6SQjC15Cc

    Peace!

  11. Brian said,

    January 4, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Wow Tom,
    That is messed up! It’s amazing the lengths people go to to avoid their responsibilities for the stupid things they do. Man I hope that worked out OK.

    And I couldn’t agree more with your point. You don’t like booze, but you don’t want to force everybody everywhere not to drink because you don’t like it. I just wish people were as mature when it came to cigar smoking!

    Glad you’ve enjoyed my rants! Clearly, I need to get pissed off more often!

  12. January 6, 2008 at 10:16 am

    It’s all good, she admitted guilt after WE reported it to her insurance company (she never did it turns out). Car is getting fixed, life is good. If anything, it was worth the hassle. It was liberating to be able to freak out on a total stranger like that, and then get this priceless reaction ;-)

    I agree… George Carlin won’t be around forever. Someone needs to take over being pissed and going on rants. That person may have to be you ;-)

  13. Brian said,

    January 9, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Hmm… George Carlin… those are pretty big shoes to fill. But I think I may just be cantankerous enough to do it!


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