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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Safety First - Training Tobacconists

In sixteen years of running retail tobacconists in three states I have never experienced a fire.  That winning streak came to an end in 2011 with two couch fires in one store!  Both fires started the same way, with a lit cigar ember falling between the couch cushions and starting a smoldering fire.  Both fires smoldered for a long while before people realized there was even a problem.  After about twenty minutes, smoke started emanating from the couch and the customers and tobacconist realized there was something wrong.  After squirting the smoldering couch folds with water, a fire extinguisher was necessary to completely extinguish the fire.  The second fire was serious enough that the customers dragged the couch outside of the store where the fire department had to soak it with their extinguishers.  On both occasions we were lucky to have well trained tobacconists and customers who were willing to help.  The worst case scenario was avoided… but barely.   Imagine if the smoldering fire was not noticed till after we closed and the last employee left the store… that would have been tragic!  Thank God there was no significant property damage or injury to any persons on these occasions.  But these fires should be a strong reminder to all tobacconists to have plenty of fire extinguishers on hand and tobacconists who know where they are and how to use them.    And make it a point to constantly remind your tobacconists where the extinguishers are and how to act in an emergency situation: it’s amazing how quickly people can forget what to do in a crisis!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tobacco Flavor Chart

David "Doc" Diaz, CMT Academic Contribution
Certified Master Tobacconist #1793
Tobacco Flavor Chart


Do you ever struggle for descriptors to identify the flavors (taste + aroma) that you are sensing in your tobaccos?  Or, do you wish there was a tool to help you distinguish and organize all of those flavors so you can document the taste of your favorite cigar or pipe tobaccos?   Well, now there is – thanks to Certified Master Tobacconist David “Doc” Diaz!  After years in development, Doc has produced the Tobacco Flavor Chart to help all luxury tobacco lovers describe and analyze their favorite tobaccos.  This Tobacco Flavor Chart can be used to help you describe the cigars or pipe tobaccos you smoke as well as save that information for reference at a later date.  This is a handy tool for retailers to give to their customers and for consumers to use and save so they can remember what they smoked.  This Tobacco Flavor Chart was created as an educational tool for anyone to use and please feel free to email Doc or TU suggestions, additions, or corrections if you think they are needed.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The FDA & Cigars

Here is a letter written to the FDA by several members of Congress.  In it, our representatives ask and implore the FDA to exclude cigars from the regulations which are being imposed on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. 
According to Glynn Loope, Executive Director of Cigar Rights of America (CRA), “this is the most over arching issue confronting this industry.”  We must not allow the onerous legislation and taxation to encroach on the premium cigar industry.  Please read the letter and sign up for the CRA Grassroots Email Network.  Its free and imperative that you participate to preserve our extraordinary industry.  


If we fail to act now our industry will surely perish.  Join the CRA! And fight for our rights!