Posts tagged ‘washington’

Premium Cigar Association Supports D.C.Smoking Ban Proposal… Almost


IPCPR Okays Underage Smoking Prevention but Nixes Smoking Bans

Washington, D.C. 1/20/2010 09:36 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)

Washington, D.C. January 20, 2010 – The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association has come out in support of proposed Washington D. C. Council legislation to reduce under-aged smoking and against the same piece of legislation that would impact smokers’ rights outside businesses.

The proposal would assess new penalties on under-aged youth for purchasing or possessing tobacco products.  At the same time, the bill allows shop owners to post no-smoking signs in front of their establishments to include 25 feet of their front door or from the sidewalk.

“As owners of premium cigar stores, we have very few people coming into our stores who are underaged and, if they try to make a purchase, they are carded without exception.  So the part of the legislation regarding underaged youth and tobacco is not a problem for us, unlike the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids which, ironically, opposes this aspect of the legislation,” said Chris McCalla, Legislative Director of the IPCPR. “It’s the other part of the legislation that bothers us – no smoking outside of buildings – even though it contains no enforcement provisions.”

McCalla pointed out that the vast majority of premium cigar and pipe smokers are courteous and mindful of people around them when they are smoking.  However, he said, legislated smoking bans of any kind are anathema to the group and its individual members.

“Anyone who says there are no safe levels of secondhand smoke, including that which is found outdoors, is totally misinformed.  In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set safe standards for secondhand smoke.  Those OSHA standards are 25,000 times higher than air quality levels found in restaurants and bars.  So, whatever wisps of smoke may occasionally waft into a building cannot possibly be unsafe, according to OSHA,” McCalla said.

Referencing those people who cite the Surgeon General’s report regarding the alleged adverse health effects of secondhand smoke, McCalla said:  “There is absolutely no evidence presented in the report that supports this claim.  These misinformed people have been brainwashed by neo-prohibitionists and tobaccophobes into believing otherwise,” he said.

“If store owners don’t want smoking in their places of business, they have the right to declare their property smoke-free.  And if these property owners don’t want people to smoke outside of their places of business, they have the right to ask people not to smoke there.  We support that.  But enacting legislation that gives the government authority over these individual property rights we do not support,” he said.

“Not only is it not justified from a medical standpoint, it is not a justified deprivation of our personal rights from a constitutional standpoint.  Next thing you know, the government will be running our nation’s auto companies, financial institutions and the entire health industry – or trying to.”

Contact: Tony Tortorici

Proposed Washington Tobacco Tax Increases Cause Committees to Clash


The joint hearing was comprised of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee headed by Rep. Cody and the House Finance Committee chaired by Rep. Hunter. Hunter is seeking ways to offset an anticipated $2.6 billion state budget shortfall while Cody’s stated goal is to “force people to quit smoking.” “Those objectives are counter-productive… – neither happens,” said Joe Arundel, owner of Rain City Cigar Store in Seattle, and member of the Board of Directors of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR).

Olympia, WA (PRWEB) January 17, 2010 — Two Washington state legislative committees were at odds with each other at Thursday’s joint hearing regarding HB2493 aimed at increasing taxes on tobacco products.

The joint hearing was comprised of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee headed by Rep. Eileen Cody of Seattle and the House Finance Committee chaired by Rep. Ross Hunter of Medina. Hunter is seeking ways to offset an anticipated $2.6 billion state budget shortfall while Cody’s stated goal is to “force people to quit smoking.”

Rain City Cigar Store

Rain City Cigar Store

“Those objectives are counter-productive when it comes to increasing taxes on tobacco products – neither happens,” said Joe Arundel, owner of Rain City Cigar Store in Seattle, who testified at yesterday’s meeting.

“In fact, increased tobacco taxes cause many smokers to find ways around the higher taxes by engaging in illegal activities such as buying bootlegged products or by making their tobacco purchases in neighboring states where taxes are lower, or by purchasing tobacco products by mail-order or over the Internet. The result is the same: no tax revenues for the state of Washington and a loss of jobs and businesses within the state,” Arundel said.

Arundel is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association. The IPCPR is a non-profit organization comprised of some 2,000 primarily small, mom-and-pop businesses that retail, manufacture or distribute premium cigars, pipes, tobacco and related accoutrements.

“People who have never enjoyed premium, hand-made cigars or pipes find it difficult to understand how different they are from cigarettes. Premium cigars and pipes make ordinary moments special and special moments extraordinary. They are indulged in relatively infrequently and are enjoyed for their social value as well as for their taste. That’s the way it’s been for centuries,” said Arundel.

Representing the Cigar Association of Washington was Dale Taylor who reminded the committees that tax reductions and reasonable tax caps on premium cigars and other tobacco products actually generate revenue increases for state treasuries whereas increased taxes cause those revenues to decline precipitously.

Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR, summarized what he called the principal reasons tobacco taxes should not be raised.

“They are regressive and disproportionately burdensome on lower- and middle-income people. They are an unreliable and unsustainable source of revenue. They are a discriminatory tax on a minority of the population. They hurt local businesses and the overall economy, and they encourage cross-border, black market, and Internet purchases,” McCalla said. “And everyone knows that human nature cannot be legislatively controlled,” he added.

Tony Tortoric

Windcaps / Windscreens

Windcaps, or windscreens as they’re sometimes known, are small cap-like devices for your pipe. They fit right over the bowl. They serve two primary purposes. If it’s windy, it keeps the embers from blowing out of your bowl and it slows down the airflow to the bowl, so your smoke doesn’t become very hot and burn fast.

windscreenThere’s four kinds of windscreens, but you’ll probably only want to know about two of them. The most common type of windcap looks like the image to the right. A round spring holds two clips to the interior of the pipe.

 WindcapThis is another type of windcap. To be honest, I’ve never actually seen one of these in person, but it looks pretty similar. I’d guess that there is a spring that holds the two buttons tight against the interior of the bowl. It would provide the same function as the windcap above.

 Butz-Choquin capped pipeButz-Choquin has a Rallye series of capped pipes. To be honest, I know nothing about this pipe other than it’s capped.

 Finally, some meerschaums come with decorative caps.  I don’t have a picture of one here, but the caps are usually attached to the pipe itself with a small chain.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, it rains enough to put out the tobacco in your pipe, so a regular pipe with a windcap like the first two I discussed here, is handy to keep the water out of your pipe if you smoke in the rain.

This is my windcap story: My wife and I walk the dogs along the beach at Dumas Bay in Washington state. Because it’s so breezy, I usually have to have a windcap or risk embers blown into my face. This is not a good thing. So I have one of those pipe windcaps with the round spring, like the first windcap described here. We go for a walk in January, and when I get home and fish my pipe and lighter out of my pocket, I realize I’ve lost the windcap.

Now, I’ll grant you I’m frugal. Okay, I’m tighter than paint on a wall, but I was upset I lost the windcap. It wasn’t much of a financial loss, about $3-$4, but still I don’t like losing things. With multiple head traumas in the past, I’m worried I’m going senile when I can’t find something. Digging through my pockets and tracking my steps through the driveway and house, I still couldn’t find it.

For the next week, every day I went for a walk on the beach, I’d look for it. It was ridiculous of course. The tides coming in and out would either bury or wash away anything that light. So I gave up on it, and went out and bought a new one.

 One day my wife walked the dogs on the beach without me. It was late March, two months after I had lost the windcap. She said, “Guess what I found?” No way, the windcap had washed back onto shore, and as she was walking along, she saw a glint in the sand. She walked over and saw the edge of the windcap and pulled it out.

It was rusty from the saltwater, but it was my windcap alright. I was so amazed, I put away my replacement windcap, and took a sander to take off as much of the rust as I could. I’ve become ridiculously fond of the miracle windcap that I won’t part with it willingly.

Of course, I could always lose it again.

Bellevue = Hellhole

I worked in Bellevue today, and I’ll be working there part of the rest of this week, and part of next week. I forgot what a gruelling commute it is; two hours one way. Half a tank of gas a day. And regular gas is over $3 now. And I have to fill up with premium!

I don’t know what it’s like just to visit Bellevue, but with my job, I just like to think of it as “that hellhole.”

I worked there for a year, lesse, six years ago, and it burned itself in my psyche. I’ve started smelling smoke again.

They put me there for the next two weeks because I was really getting stressed out. Of course, now I’m just exhausted. I won’t say I’ll be glad to be back, but the commute is 10 minutes from my regular workplace.

Okay, two weeks of this. I can do it standing on my head. If I could stand on my head, that is…