Posts tagged ‘cigar’

More than just cigars

Store offers old-fashion haven

Rebecca Martinez • Roving Reporter • March 6, 2010

Aaron Hutching of Staunton lights his cigar at Beverley Cigar Store on Friday. (Pat Jarrett/The News Leader)

STAUNTON —Even on a Thursday afternoon, there’s company in the smoking lounge at Beverley Cigar Store.

Proprietor Aaron Miller, 28, of Staunton, is seated in a leather easy chair, chatting with customer Greg Brown, 27, also of Staunton. Brown, nestled on the leather sofa, is taking a smoking break from his job at Mockingbird, and is puffing on a strong, sweet-smelling blend of tobacco he’d bought at the store earlier this week.

“It’s a hobby,” Brown says of smoking cigars and pipes. “It’s time alone to myself. If anything, it takes me away from anything else in my day. It’s ‘me’ time. It’s no distractions.”

The shop welcomes customers to take their purchases to go or to smoke in the lounge, which offers seating, television, wireless Internet and a high power ventilator above the door. Miller says the asthmatic wife of a customer once praised him for his ventilation, which he took to heart.

Brown says smoking is banned in the building where he lives, as in most local restaurants and bars, so he’s glad to have a place where he can smoke his pipe and enjoy the company of others, especially in the winter.

“Because of the new tobacco law … Aaron is giving an outlet to us all who can’t smoke at home,” Brown says, explaining that it takes at least an hour to smoke a pipe or cigar. “Being forced to smoke outside is no fun whatsoever.”

Brad Arrowood of Staunton smokes his cigar next to the humidor on Friday at Beverley Cigar Store in Staunton, which recently opened. (Pat Jarrett/The News Leader)

Brown is one of several regular customers who has told Miller that he’d stolen their idea of opening a cigar shop downtown. The young owner, always sharply dressed in a suit vest and pants, says the idea came to him when he tired of driving to Charlottesville or Harrisonburg to buy pipe tobacco he could blend.

“There’s not a place like that here,” he remembers thinking. “I wonder if that could work.”

It seems to be. On weekend evenings especially, the shop fills up with customers, mostly men, who sit around watching the plasma television mounted above the electric fireplace and chat.

Two glass cases — cigar humidors — line the right-hand wall of the shop. Miller says he keeps high-quality lines from popular brands in his shop as well as limited edition lines, but said he’s eager to help customers find something they’ll like. The selection is arranged in the humidors by strength. Mounted in front of each box in his humidors is a laminated card Miller inscribed with a description of the cigar and information about its origin, strength, wrapper, binder and filler tobacco. All the cigars are additive-free.

he selection ranges from one to eight years old and about $3 (Cuban Rejects) to $18 (Cohiba Churchills) in price, the average costing about $7.

“Everybody knows cigars can be expensive, but cigars are hand-crafted and works of art. The same kind of care goes into a bottle of wine,” says Miller, who independently researched cigars from tobacco seed, to wrapping, to fermentation for two years before opening the shop. “It’s hard not to fall in love with these when you look behind them.”

Matthew Casiday of Staunton smokes his cigar at Beverley Cigar Store on Friday. (Pat Jarrett/The News Leader)

Miller cuts a long, thin green cigar, lights it and takes a puff. It’s his first time sampling a Candela, a cigar his neighbor requested he carry. Candelas were popular in the 1950s, but are harder to come by now.

“Back then, you weren’t anyone if you weren’t smoking one of these,” Miller says, adding that it was a favorite of Clint Eastwood’s. “It’s kind of sweet, like a morning breakfast.”

Brown tries a puff.

“Yeah, not bad for two bucks.”

Miller says he caters to a “sophisticated audience” of various ages and races, mostly men — though he carries clove and sweet flavored cigars in hope of drawing women to the shop — who sit around the coffee table watching television and chewing the fat. Miller said conversation topics range from tobacco to history. Last week, they watched Olympic curling. All his customers express an interest in “finer things.”

“The shoppers that shop downtown are people that aren’t going to Wal-Mart,” Miller says, explaining that capturing this audience is a the goal for small businesses. “You have to offer what they don’t have or something that’s better than what they have or a different way.”

School teacher Michael Stilwell of Staunton takes a seat on Miller’s sofa after classes Thursday and puffed on the Perdomo Lot 23 cigar he’d bought previously.

“The lounge is very relaxing and attractive,” Stilwell says. “It’s a nice getaway. It’s really nice to have that in town.”

Miller offers him a can of soda, a service Stilwell suggested he offer during a previous visit.

“He takes your suggestions. If there’s something that you prefer, he will match that preference.”

His customers also appreciate Miller’s straightforwardness. He considers his individual-sale cigars a bargain, but whenever a customer requests a full box, Miller said he tells them to get it on the Internet. It’ll be cheaper.

Hazards: Are Pipe and Cigar Users Blowing Smoke?

Sometimes it’s fair to show the opposing side, but to be honest, the last sentence is wrong. Yech.

New York Times

Published: February 15, 2010

Pipe and cigar smokers may say they don’t inhale, but a new study suggests otherwise.

The study, based on breathing tests in people ages 48 to 90, found that the pipe and cigar smokers had more than double the risk for abnormal lung function that contributes to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a leading cause of death — even if they abstained from cigarettes. Those who also smoked cigarettes were at more than triple the risk.

Of the 3,528 subjects, all of them participants in heart disease research, 56 had smoked only pipes or cigars; 428 smoked pipes or cigars along with cigarettes; and 1,424 smoked only cigarettes.

Pipe and cigar smokers also had higher levels of the nicotine byproduct cotinine than nonsmokers, though less than what is typically found in cigarette smokers, according to the study, published in the Feb. 15 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. The senior author, Dr. R. Graham Barr, an assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center, said other studies had linked cigar and pipe smoking with heart disease, lung cancer and oral cancers. “I think it’s mainly a myth that they don’t inhale,” he said.

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Ire

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

by Vernon Parker, published online 08-11-2009

There was a time before the flapper age of the roaring ’20s that no woman other than an “out-and-out hussy” would dare smoke a cigarette or cigar. No doubt a few very daring gals might have tried a puff in total privacy just to see what it was like. And there was the Mammy Yokum type down in the hill country that puffed on a corn cob pipe and no thought was given to condemning her for it. Then came the 1920s when “flappers” not only puffed cigarettes but drank in speakeasies.In the August 11, 1907 Brooklyn Daily Eagle, columnist Julius Chambers may have stepped on some toes, both male and female, with his comments on smoking in those days.

The following is verbatim what Julius had to say about smoking in 1907:

“As a smoker of long standing and confirmed habits, I am ready to admit that much of the criticism against smoking in public is justified. I do not single out the pale-cheeked boy, who inhales his cigarette smoke and then blows it out through his nostrils. He is a disgusting spectacle, anywhere. But I refer to the men of apparent respectability who carry lighted cigars into crowded subway cars, or, because they want to appear English, burn tobacco in old pipes on the open cars. A rotten pipe is the filthiest thing in the world.

“To smoke a cigar in the street, when walking with a lady, is an act of utter disrespect. The fact that Englishmen carry briarwood pipes between their teeth, in daylight, when walking with ladies, does not mitigate the offense. A true gentleman would no more think of smoking on the street with his wife, or any other lady, than he would of picking his teeth at a dinner table.

“Understand me, I believe that in the privacy of a man’s own house, he should smoke in any room except his wife’s bedroom. Of course, if the wife owns the house, or he otherwise be a pensioner upon her bounty, the conditions may be altered. He may find it more convenient to smoke in the cellar, billiard-room or stable. A wife is entitled to opinions — unless, as often happens, the husband has given the domicile to his spouse.

“In such cases, it isn’t the part of wisdom or common sense for the wife to constantly remind her companion of the fact.

“Just a word on the other side. Will somebody only tell me why women crowd the last four seats in the open cars, mercifully reserved for smokers, when, oftener than otherwise, plenty of room exists at the front of the cars? Again and again do all smokers suffer from this unnecessary deprivation? When a man has worked all day in an office, the enjoyment of a cigar on his homeward way is much appreciated. “Do the women think of this? Or, do they care? Candor compels me to say that I believe a negative reply to the latter query states the truth!

“Mankind endures many hardships for the solace that tobacco gives, but there isn’t any reason why women should be annoyed by smokers, any more than that a man should be compelled to grease his nose with tallow or rub rice powder upon his cheeks. A decent consideration of the members of the two sexes, one for the other, would simplify social problems very much. There isn’t any reason why a wife should be called into a room to see her husband smoke. With as much propriety might the wife insist that her husband be present every time shampooer “blondines” her hair or a dermatologist pulls stray hairs from her chin.

“And yet, the wife of a Philadelphia friend of mine left him because he ‘always went to his library after dinner to smoke.’ One cannot tell how to please some women.”

Premium cigar store owners warn of bad fallout from smoking bans

07.24.2009 6:17 pm
Premium cigar store owners warn of bad fallout from smoking bans
By Phil Sutin
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Gerard Ezvan

Banning smoking in indoor public places would hurt the economy, owners of premium cigar stores say.

“The only thing a smoking ban would do is lead the way in increased unemployment…(and) failing businesses,” Chris McCalla, legislative director of the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association, said in a statement today.

St. Louis County Councilwoman Barbara Fraser, D-University City, has proposed a countywide vote on Nov. 3 on a smoking ban in indoor public places in the entire county. A bill for the election is on the preliminary approval segment of the agenda for next Tuesday’s council meeting.

She said her effort is to provide clean air to residents. “Second-hand smoke is a detriment to health,” she said. Whether the county will get a smoking ban would be up to the people, she said.

Gerard Ezvan, owner of Jon’s Pipe Shop in downtown Clayton and an association member, said a ban would reduce the number of customers to stores like his and eating and drinking establishments that now allow smoking. The change would lead to the consequences that McCalla mentioned, he said.

Some customers want to relax with a good drink and cigar, Ezvan said. They will come less often to his store if they can’t smoke in eating and drinking establishments, he said.

McCalla said nearly 40 of his association’s more than 2,000 members operate businesses in Missouri.

Cigar, Pipe Collectibles Gaining Momentum


Cigar, Pipe Collectibles Gaining Momentum

Smoking bans may ultimately keep cigar connoisseurs from buying that next lighter or cigar cutter, but there is a group – that may or may not smoke – that is buying cigar-related items aggressively. Collectors are being drawn to antique smoking-related items, even if their use has become less popular over the past several decades.

Pipes, ashtrays, cigar boxes and cigarette dispensers are on the list for this subculture. Others are drawn to packaging and advertising, scooping up old cigar bans, boxes of matches, in-store ads and other forms of “tobacciana.” Some are even quite expensive.

So, when your kids get on your case about the stack of empty cigar boxes in the living room, just tell them that’s how they’ll get through college … if they’re lucky.

[Photo by Steve Zak]

original article