Premium Cigars are hand made with natural tobacco leaves and lots of skill. There aren’t any additional additives, other than natural tree sap glue. Yet under a proposed litter law in Ontario Canada, if you throw out a cigar or cigar butt along or adjacent to a highway you will be fined from $2,000 to $3,000 Canadian dollars. If a tobacco plant growing alongside the same highway drops a leaf, nothing happens. Both the cigar and the tobacco leaf decompose at the same time, yet cigar smokers get punished for discarding this natural leaf. Even more ironic is that the criminal offense for possession of less than 30 grams of Marijuana in Canada carries a $1,000 fine, substantially less than that for discarding a cigar.
It’s interesting what cigar smokers have to endure. A few years ago I invited Chico, the head of the largest tobacco growing co-op in Nicaragua, to a Rolling Stones concert in Miami, Florida. The concert was held in an open air stadium. We were sitting in the best section, just 15 rows away from the stage. We sat there among the crowds and mid-way through the concert we decided to light our cigars. As we started puffing we heard the comments from other concert goers about how the smoke was bothering them. It was from both Spanish and English speaking Rolling Stones fans. After a few minutes we had two requests to put out our cigars and we obliged. They were good cigars so we tried to put them out gently so that we could relight them after the concert. Chico looked at me puzzled and said in Spanish “I don’t understand this country. Here we are enjoying our legal cigars and people are angry at us. Everyone else around us is smoking illegal marijuana and no one says a thing.”