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Written by Staff

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

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tobacco legislation

Las Vegas, 14 July 2008 ... The IPCPR trade show is on at The Sands Convention Center here, and it is an opportunity for people in IPCPR and the industry, retailers and manufacturers to sort out the future, so to speak, as regards the effort to counteract excessive taxation and onerous, draconian anti-smoking legislation at the municipal and state levels.

Four (4) days after the announcement of the organization of Cigar Rights of America, a consumer driven organization designed to fight for the rights of cigar smokers, the IPCPR announced the formation of "Friends of the Industry." What industry you might well have asked. Aside from IPCPR's consistent poor choice of names (Imagine a ‘smoking’ organization with the letters ‘CPR’ in the title!), they were a day late and a dollar short.

This afternoon, David Berkebile, Past President of the RTDA (now the IPCPR), and owner of Washington, D.C.'s renowned Georgetown Tobacco, told Cigar Review that IPCPR had decided to " ... put Friends of the Industry on the back burner and watch CRA's progress and activities. There are things in their program that we don't agree with, but we will wait and see. The important thing is that smokers and the industry be defended, and defended aggressively."

Later in the afternoon, Cigar Review ran into Jeffrey Borysiewicz, of Corona Cigar, and one of the founding members of CRA, at the Espinoza y Ortega booth where he was savouring their new Cuboa and doing a tasting of three (3) Laphroig single malt Scotch whiskies being purveyed by Laphroig Ambassador Simon Brookings, in a kilt and accoutrements no less. Jeffrey indicated that, "Yes, there were problems with the web site initially, but it was done in a rush and by a volunteer and that we are correcting or have corrected the important elements."

Continuing, Borysiewicz said, "We have the first Freedom Tour and we are working on subsequent ones. It is not easy to get more than a dozen manufacturers, operating in Nicaragua, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and elsewhere, together to do this. We're aware that there have been smokers that have doubted our commitment ... the FAQ section of the website is filled with the same questions. We are addressing all of these matters, including some criticism about the look of the site."

The thing that Jeffrey made a point of is that cities wishing to be on the 'Freedom Tour' schedule must come together, either a group of retailers or a group smokers need to help CRA by finding a suitable venue, which permits smoking and can accommodate around 300 people.

Those who wish to help in this regard can contact CRA through their website, www.cigarrights.org

Cigar Review will have a full report on the 2008 ICPCR trade show and on any further developments concerning CRA and the effort to preserve our rights in a nation beset by people intent on denying others their small pleasures!




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