All too often, cigars get lumped into categories under the political microscope, whether it’s gaming, alcohol, or just about any other fun under attack by those who our friend Cigar Dave would call, The Pleasure Police. Over the course of the last four years, we have often found ourselves politically aligned with other special interests that were under attack, but had a relationship to cigars. We have joined in support of gaming associations, bar and tavern leagues, beverage councils, spirits distributors, all who carry out legal functions, working to satisfy our thirst (and aroma) for some good times with friends.
�There is an issue brewing in Kansas that would have national implications and that could also bring together common interests. Kansas Senate Bill 45 is legislation backed by the National Rifle Association that as they call it, “is a common sense reform that would help preserve the rights of taxpayers to ensure that public funds are not used to pursue a political agenda against legal products.” The legislation goes to the heart (and I don’t mean ‘association’) of preventing taxpayer funds from being used for expensive advertising campaigns “that demonize perfectly legal products,” whether it’s guns and ammunition – or cigars.
Now, in four years of CRA, this is about the first time we can recall that the American Cancer Society is called into action, against the National Rifle Association, because an NRA backed bill, has implications for how the American Cancer Society promotes the use of public dollars, for their anti-tobacco/cigars agenda.
So the Cancer Society comes out against Kansas Senate Bill 45. We agree with the NRA. In fact, Cigar Rights of America was among the first in the nation to highlight how federal tax dollars, through the ‘economic stimulus’ allocations, was being used for anti-tobacco/cigar political action by agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control, which subsequently was called down by the Inspector General of the US Department of Health & Human Services for grants to promote smoking bans and related anti-cigar measures. There ought to be a more stringent federal version of Kansas Senate Bill 45.
Such legislation is also being discussed in Arizona. Imagine if such legislation existed in New York City when those decayed body parts posters were beside the cash register in premium cigar shops, or in places like Missouri, West Virginia, Mississippi and others that are being “lobbied” with public dollars by [public] health departments to advocate smoking bans and increased taxes on cigars.
That’s why this Kansas legislation is a model for not only the brethren at the NRA, but an issue that transcends into our future ability to enjoy great cigars.
Contact your members of the Kansas legislature. Tell them to support SB 45. Then let’s take this bill ‘on the road,’ to your state capitol.
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Kentucky legislative committee advances statewide smoking ban!
On February 7, under the cloak of virtual secrecy, the Kentucky House of Representatives Health and Welfare Committee advanced HB 190, which is nothing short of a prohibitionist style legislative maneuver to ban smoking – potentially even in cigar shops. It has to be stopped.
CRA stands with Kentucky Senate President Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg who states, ‘Government shouldn’t tell businesses they cannot regulate smoking on their own property.’ That’s, the message.
The next stop for the bill in the Kentucky House Rules Committee.
Tell them to VOTE NO ON HB 190!
Click Here to Contact Your Representatives.