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Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Certified Consumer Tobacconist Evolution

Any tobacconist worth their salt can tell you about innumerable atrocities committed by ignorant consumers: these include lighting cigars backwards, lighting the cedar sleeve (sometimes including the silk ribbon at the foot), using a torch lighter on a briar pipe, complaining about stems in premium cigar filler, licking an entire cigar then using a shop cutter, sticking a cigar in their nose then returning it to a display box, and many many more!

Furthermore, few people truly understand what priming is, the importance of air curing, the magic of fermentation, the extraordinary skill it takes to blend and roll a cigar, much less the thousands of artisanal steps between seed and ash.   

But the real shame is the lack of activism and pro-activity of luxury cigar and pipe smokers.  After all, luxury tobacco can be a selfish pursuit, in that we enjoy it solely for ourselves.  It can be easy to forget that our beloved products, lifestyle and freedoms are constantly being demonized and  eroded by over-regulation and over-taxation.  No other profession suffers more punishment and threats from local, state, and federal governments.  And of course countless "health" groups, with hundreds of millions of dollars in their budgets, drive their mission to erase us from existence.  

Ultimately, the only way to combat these forces is through education and activism.  That activism can be as simple as sharing your passions with those who don't know any better, educating your peers, and of course supporting Cigar Rights of America so they can provide a political voice in Washington DC and at the state and local level.  

If you really love these products, then you must take a stand and be proactive.  Any loud mouth can pontificate about what they think they know, but only a Tobacconist University (TU) Certified Tobacconist has proven their fundamental knowledge.  The new TU Certified Consumer Tobacconist (CCT) degree is a historic and revolutionary way to prove your knowledge and join the fight for our freedoms at the same time.  The new CCT program can be purchased in the GET CERTIFIED section of the TU website for $100 and comes with a free one year membership to Cigar Rights of America (CRA).  If you are smart enough to pass the test, you will be a Certified Consumer Tobacconist and a member of the CRA.  There is no better representative of this industry than a CCT/CRA member and we encourage you to join our ranks and help us preserve luxury tobacco for generations to come!

1. Accept The Consumer Code of Ethics & Standards & Apply for Apprenticeship
- After your $100 payment your apprentice listing will appear on the TU website and the CRA will initiate your annual membership

2. Study the TU Academic Curriculum at your own pace

3. Take the Final Exam* on the TU website
- if you pass you will be awarded your CCT degree and your website listing will be certified
- if you fail, you will be removed from the TU website, but your CRA membership will continue

* The TU Final Exam for CCT is 50 questions, multiple-choice and True/False.  It is the same length and difficulty as the original professional test for certified tobacconists which was used from 1996-2005.