The Re-Emergence of the Cigar Club

By Koroun Butler, President, Blue Flame Cigar Society

 The idea of a cigar club is nothing new. In fact, cigar clubs in some form or another have been around for years. What does appear to be relatively new is the NEED for such clubs to exist. While membership in a cigar club bestows a certain prestige on the members, more importantly each membership is another voice added to the collective that is the CLUB. When I speak of a cigar club I am not speaking of a physical location or building but rather an association of cigar smokers that provide support for the local tobacconists around town. There are many reasons why one might choose to become a member of a cigar club, some of which are discussed below.

There is certain camaraderie; familiarity if you will that is evident when one cigar smoker encounters another. This feeling of acceptance seems to transcend race, gender, class status, and any other labels prevalent in today’s society. Now, I don’t want to say that cigar smoking is the cure to many societal ills, but I will contend that when individuals of varying backgrounds can get together around some common object and engage in discussion about any and everything freely and comfortably…it is definitely a good thing. On several occasions I have witnessed deals being sealed, jobs being offered, promotions being granted…all while those involved were enjoying a cigar.

The CLUB often provides a much needed solace away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Many cigar smokers truly look forward to going into their favorite lounge or sitting on their (or maybe a friend’s) patio and simply allowing themselves to unwind. Often the silence while one savors their cigar says all that need be said about the experience.

The CLUB provides a great platform for education about cigars. While the average person won’t inquire about the proverbial dos and don’ts of cigar smoking in an unfamiliar surrounding; the same person will freely inquire in familiar surroundings amongst friends. Information on cigar pairings (with wines, liquor, liqueurs, foods, and even deserts) is often made available thru seminars that the club may offer from time to time for its members.

The CLUB supports the old adage “Strength in Numbers”. As most of us are aware, there is no shortage of legislation and ballot initiatives that are designed to restrict (if not do away with altogether) our rights as cigar smokers. These initiatives (check Arizona Revised Statutes) are always accompanied by statistics regarding the dangers of 2nd hand smoke to the elderly, children, and others. Well the last time I checked, the cigar smokers I know were not looking to blow smoke in the faces of children or the elderly. It is an indulgence of ours enjoyed amongst people who feel the same. In speaking with my good friend DAP; he brought up a great point. We always here about the ill-effects of tobacco on ourselves and others but never about the actual health benefit of relaxing ones mind and allowing ones self to take a moment and unwind (Mental health). Perhaps a study should be done on the mental health of cigar smokers as compared to that of individuals of similar backgrounds and occupations that don’t allow themselves the “down time” cigars afford us. Now we all know the risks associated with our chosen indulgence but as adults and Americans we can make our own choices. It is through the collective voice of cigar clubs nationwide that we can fight against a great deal of this legislation (smoking bans at the beach, bans relative to alcohol consumption and cigars, ordinances banning smoking on patios, etc) and pave the way for ourselves and others to enjoy our cigars in peace.

Since there was not a club that provided all of these things in existence here in Arizona, on July 15, 2009 I, along with Granison Shines, established The Blue Flame Cigar Society. In our very short existence, our reception amongst our fellow cigar smokers (novice and aficionado alike) has been almost overwhelming. For more information on the BFCS please visit www.blueflamecigarsociety.com .

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