Written by Puff Staff

Saturday, 17 November 2012

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vetleadpicVeterans Day was last Monday, but it’s always the right time to remember our fighting men and women. That’s why we’re kicking off this week’s column with an inspiring story about a wounded Marine—who loves his cigars.



Iraq War Veteran Launches Cigar Line

Retired Gunnery Sgt. Nick Popadich found unexpected fame from two photographs.  He became known as the “Cigar Marine” after the publication of a 2003 photo showing him celebrating the fall of Baghdad while sitting on top of a tank with a big grin on his face and a big cigar in his hand. A statue of Saddam Hussein is visible in the background.



The second memorable pic came when Associated Press photographer Laurent Rebours shot a photograph highlighting his prosthetic eye, emblazoned with the Eagle Globe and Anchor.

Now the 45-year-old former Marine is launching a line of cigars that will raise money to help other wounded veterans.

Popadich’s Cigar Marine line was officially introduced at an event in El Dorado Hills, CA, last weekend. The first two releases from Cigar Marine are a flavored spiced rum cigar called The Tanker and a double-wrapped torpedo called The Gunny.

Proceeds from the Marine Cigar launch event go to benefit the Semper Fi Fund.

Tobacco World: The Cigar Superstore Celebrates 14th Anniversary

Tobacco World: The Cigar Superstore in Marietta, GA, is having its 14th birthday, and owner operator Scott “Red” Grantham is throwing a party for a few friends—about 800 of them.



For the event on November 17, Grantham has big plans. “We’re frying 30 turkeys and smoking 150 pounds of pork loin. Restaurant friends are bringing side dishes. There’ll be a tent in the parking lot with live music by Spider Kelly, invited speakers, and giveaways. The party starts at noon.”

Tobacco World has become an institution in this suburb of Atlanta, a 3000 sq. ft. space where cigar smokers can hang out and relax. Grantham considers this the best part of his job, but worries about the threat of FDA regulation on his business.

“I get to smoke cigars in my own store with guys who are my friends.

“Current law allows me to walk into my humidor and pick anything I want and light it up out in the store. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working on changing the laws so that my customers can only select cigars from a catalog, eliminating the ability to see, touch or smell a cigar before buying it.

“If the FDA is successful, I’ll have to blacken the humidor glass windows to conceal the cigars.”

How Grantham came to own and run a cigar store is an American success story. He related, “First I was a customer here. I came in regular. The man who owned this place, my former partner, offered me a part time job. I had no clue about cigars. I bought and read every book that I could on cigars. Geeky books with diagrams of plants, information on experimenting with fermentations, I learned everything I could. I got to where I could tell what tobacco is in a blend.

“I was offered to go full time, I had just been passed up for a manager’s position at my previous job, so I came here full time. The original business partners split, I put in sweat equity and bought in more and more and then bought my partner out.”

If you’re in the Atlanta area, be sure to drop by Tobacco World at 700 Sandy Plains Rd, suite A6, Marietta, GA—and say hello to Red.


0 # Once a MarineSavasBeatie 2012-11-20 12:42
Thank you for mentioning our book, Once a Marine. If you would like more information about the book, including an excerpt, or its author, please check at
. Savas Beatie is also pleased to announce the launch of a new line of cigars in honor of Nick Popaditch in conjunction with Art of Cigars. More information can be found at:
Savas Beatie LLC
Publisher of Historical Titles of Distinction

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0 # ReplyArizona Dave 2012-11-22 02:50
I'll have to swing by your shop next time I'm in your neck of the woods. Ooh Rah!

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