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Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Tobacconist Alamo

The most frightening thought in the world to any Tobacconist is that smoking bans will be instituted inside retail Tobacconist shops. It has already happened in Delaware and other parts of the country. In addition, many Tobacconists are going to court to preserve their right to smoke and sometimes just to prove they are Tobacconists – because the laws are so poorly and/or maliciously written. No other profession in the world suffers under such draconian laws. Sadly, the hostility of legislators and our society are making it more difficult to survive. Yet we persevere, not because the financial rewards are great, not for the prestige, but because we love our products and customers.

Obviously, Tobacconists must taste their products daily just to be able to communicate their value to customers; and customers need to sample products in order to make informed decisions. Not to neglect the fact that smoking in a smokeshop is akin to eating in a restaurant.
Yet logic alone is not enough to preserve our professional rights. Ultimately, the health zealots and nanny state will try to ban smoking everywhere; and retail Tobacconists will be the final frontier – the Tobacconist Alamo. Here at TU, we are preparing for that last stand. It is our commitment to prove our professional credibility and legitimacy through our curriculum and standards. Through Certifications we are building an army of Certified Tobacconists who are substantive and credentialed enough to fight for our rights. We are not just individuals who feel we have the right to smoke ‘just because’ or ‘just because we like it’; clearly that tactic has not worked. We are professionals who have invested time and money, our lives, into an honorable existence and we will be here to fight when the rest of the industry needs us.

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