The great American cigar shop is under attack on many fronts. Today smoking bans, the Internet and high taxation threaten to destroy what was once a local staple in every community. It would be very sad to see these local hubs of social activities die off.
There are very few places in this world where people of all races, income levels and backgrounds can interact on a daily basis. Cigars are the great equalizer and conversation starter. The most interesting conversations in the world occur in the comfy leather chairs at your local cigar shop.
Smoking Ban threat to your local Cigar Shop
A growing threat to the local cigar shop is smoking bans. Several states and cities are now enacting extremely restrictive bans which do not allow smoking anywhere indoors or most outdoor spaces. While in theory this seems like a good idea for certain places. How does it make sense to ban cigar smoking in an adult only cigar shop? Clearly anyone patronizing a cigar shop is ok with being around cigar smoke.
The science behind the dangers of second hand smoke has been called into question by multiple reputable studies. Maybe a more common sense approach would be to exempt a cigar shop from local bans on the condition they have an approved air exchange and filtration system. Any thoughts?
Internet impact on the local Cigar Shop
Many people don’t realize the huge impact of the Internet on the local cigar shop. For many years the Internet cigar retailers have had an unfair advantage over the local cigar shop because of the way cigar taxes are collected.
Cigar buyers living in high tax states like New York and California can buy their cigars online and pay zero cigar tax. If that same customer were to buy at a local cigar shop they would pay close to double the online price. Loopholes like these have allowed the internet retailers to grow into mega stores the local cigar shop can’t compete with unless they are located in a state with near zero cigar tax.
Effects of high taxation on the local cigar shop
Unfortunately cigars have been swept up with other tobacco products as targets for ever increasing taxation. Other tobacco products or OTP refers to the taxes on tobacco products other than cigarettes. In recent years these taxes have skyrocketed in most but not all states. Loopholes creating an unfair advantage for Internet retailers need to be closed rather than raising these taxes to the point that it puts the local cigar shop out of business.