In the October issue of Cigar Aficionado, La Flor Dominicana owner Litto Gomez took out a “double truck” ad that had nothing to do with promoting his cigars. Litto used this large spread to speak his mind about the recent actions our law makers have taken against the cigar industry.
Since not everyone reads the magazine, I thought I would reprint the text from this ad. Unfortunately, the graphics will not reproduce well, even in a slide show.
The ad consists of a photo of Litto Gomez lighting a cigar on the right hand page. Around the border are photos of coffee, whiskey, a cheeseburger, bacon, a bundle of cigars, a chili dog, beef, wine, salt, butter and sugar. On the left hand page is the following text:
“It’s Time to Speak Up
Every single oneof the foods or substances you see here may end up killing you… if you abuse them.
But if we take them with moderation, they are harmless and make our lives really enjoyable.
For some draconian reasons, our law makers have singled out cigars, why?
I remember the reason was second hand smoking. But, in parks? In the open air?… what is this!!!
If we let them get away with it, they will continue to take away the pleasures of your life. As adults we have the right to choose our life style. As I recall, it was called freedom and that’s what makes America the best country in the world.
If you don’t smoke and think that this does not concern you… think again, because one day, after they are done with cigars, a fat congressman while munching on his french fries will write a bill taxing your favorite food.
We should not let them legislate our lifestyle. It’s Time To Stop Them.
I am Litto Gomez
This is my personal opinion. I am a concerned citizen that believes in freedom of choice. I teach this to my children.”
Litto’s sentiments are echoed in a recent statement from Jeffrey A. Miron, a senior lecturer in economics and director of undergraduate studies at Harvard University and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. “In a free society, the presumption must be that people can smoke whatever they wish, so long as they do not harm others”.
Cigars, more so than other vices, are something that we connect with on various levels. On the most basic level, yes we use cigars as a delivery mechanism for nicotine. On a deeper level, we explore and enjoy the rich combination of flavors of the various tobaccos and the pairings and enhancements to meals and drinks. On a social level, cigars serve as a shared enthusiasm which binds a community of enthusiasts and brings together friends from all races, professions, and walks of life. Where else will we see doctors sitting with construction workers sitting with teachers sitting with students sitting with soldiers? Cigars are a social glue that bind us together in a meaningful setting in which serious contention is rare, reasonable and respectful discourse is common, and both men and women can relax and enjoy each other’s company.
On an even deeper level, cigars are almost a medium for spiritual introspection. Perhaps it’s unique to me but, on the occasions that I have a cigar without my enthusiast fellows, the time I spend relaxing with a cigar is a time for self examination and thinking about who I am and what I’m doing.
These levels are something that non-smokers have difficulty understanding. They can’t get past the clouds of smoke wafting around and the odors that they can’t comprehend to understand how meaningful the cigar hobby is to us enthusiasts.
I applaud Litto for speaking up, and I encourage you to do the same. Even if all you do is invite your friends to share a cigar or talk to your local representative about what the cigar hobby means to you, you’ve spoken up and made an impact.
Tom Ufer, Tampa Cigar Examiner, contributed part of the copy for this article. Litto Gomez Speaks Up by David Sabot