View Full Version : From The Scotsman - Hide Those Cigars!

01-11-2008, 01:18 PM
I have a Google News Alert for CIGARS, and this came through today:


Published Date: 01 November 2008
By Ben Bailey

IN A small, tidy shop on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, the walls are laden with exotic names. Cohiba, Diplomaticos and Romeo y Julieta sit neatly on the shelves.

Chris Kilpatrick reaches up to the top shelf and carefully brings down a Montecristo No 4, the best-selling cigar in the world. Slowly he takes it out, gently squeezes the tobacco and inhales the aroma.

But this ritual, so beloved by regular customers, is now facing a threat. Under government proposals, Mr Kilpatrick will have to banish his array of more than 100 cigars to the stock room.

In September Alex Salmond, the First Minister, included tackling smoking in his legislative programme, with a plan to ban the display of tobacco products in shops.

Scottish tobacconists believe this could make it "extremely difficult" for their specialist shops to continue trading.

"We need to be able to display our products," said Mr Kilpatrick. "A ban on the display of tobacco would make it extremely difficult. There is no doubt that business would suffer.

"One of the government's suggestions is that we provide a long list of our products for customers to choose, but customers want to see, touch and smell the products before they buy."

The legislation is aimed at reducing the number of young smokers in Scotland, by putting products out of sight and making tobacco, in particular cigarettes, less of an attraction and less accessible to children.

Mr Kilpatrick is chairman of the Independent Scottish Specialist Tobacconists' Association. Formed in the summer, it has written to Mr Salmond pleading its members' case. It has met representatives from the Department for Health to explain how they will be affected.

Alan Myerthall, who runs the Little Havana Cigar Store on Edinburgh's Leith Walk, said: "We need a dispensation from the legislation, because it is going to be impossible for specialist tobacconists to trade.

"There are no plans for exceptions to the legislation. A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "These things have to be considered, but the main point is that this legislation is being brought forward because we are talking about saving lives."

Anti-smoking groups agree with the proposed law, due to be introduced in the new year. The chief executive of Ash Scotland, Sheila Duffy, said: "Forty-one young Scots start smoking each day, and the vast majority of child smokers buy their cigarettes from shops".

Colin Borland, a spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland, said: "The Scottish Government needs to be exceptionally careful when drafting its tobacco legislation that it doesn't risk the viability of independent retailers."

My bold above and below.

"Forty-one young Scots start smoking each day, and the vast majority of child smokers buy their cigarettes from shops".

What really annoys me about these draconian moves is that cigar smokers don't come into the 41 young people starting to smoke every day.

Why don't legislators accept the difference? :mad:

I can see why there isn't a decent tobacconist for miles around me, and why I have to go to London for cigar things if I don't buy online.

It's rubbish!

Cheese will be next because there is too much fat in it.

Or - more likely - alcohol.

Rant over... :cowboyic9:

03-11-2008, 09:10 AM
Well, I live in Scotland and will be affected by this if it goes ahead. There are only 3 cigar specialists (that I know of anyway) left in Edinburgh...there are some in Glasgow and the rest is cigar desert.

Luckily, I live only 7 miles from the English border. Unluckily, the English border, is a very long way from any English Cigar specialist shops. Is there one in Newcastle? Not sure...but I think the nearest must be York, and although that may seem like the far North to you M25 guys, it's actually more like the Midlands to us... :rolleyes:

Sledgehammer legislation once again.

I feel another little light is about to go out in my life....!:frown:


03-11-2008, 09:30 AM
Do you know the tobacconists mentioned here, Malc?
Friends coming back from Edinburgh have raved about the fact that good cigar stores are there in the city, with great displays.
It's uncivilised to clamp down like this!

03-11-2008, 10:06 AM
No shop in Newcastle I'm afraid. There is a kiosk in the Grainger market that has a few good tubes.

03-11-2008, 01:35 PM
Do you know the tobacconists mentioned here, Malc?
Friends coming back from Edinburgh have raved about the fact that good cigar stores are there in the city, with great displays.
It's uncivilised to clamp down like this!

Hi Bryan,

Yes, I know the shops mentioned. They are the Cigar Box on the Royal Mile, and the Pipe and Little Havana shop in Leith (on Leith Walk). The only other one I know of, now that Herbert Love has closed down, is Robert Graham on Rose Street. Of the three, I prefer Robert Graham, because at least there you can browse the stock easily...the shop is big enough to allow that, and there is a walk-in humi; the others are a bit small, and you feel a bit self-conscious if you just stand around drooling over the cigars. I've not been to Grahame's for a while mind, and someone did tell me they have re-positioned to sell more whisky than cigars, but I don't know this for a fact.

I am aware that Perth and Aberdeen both have at least one cigar shop each, but they are both a long way to go! So my comment about a desert is perhaps a little unfair. Suspect the article had made me gloomy.

03-11-2008, 05:49 PM
It made me gloomy too right down here at the other end of the UK.
Not good, all this.

Should we fight this sort of thing?
Is there any point?
What could we actually do?

I'm serious!
Without getting involved with FOREST... I don't think their stance works.

Anyone got any ideas?... :cowboyic9:

03-11-2008, 05:50 PM
Because I'm stuck!

03-11-2008, 05:56 PM
There was a pipe-smoking vicar from Tonbridge, or Tunbridge Wells (can't remember which) who lit up his pipe in the council offices as a protest against the smoking ban. He was/is a vicar, so the local telly filmed him puffing away in his dog-collar.

The voiceover and article editing portrayed him as an English "eccentric", so the whole thing backfired, really. I think this was on Meridian (ITV) and not BBC South-East.

I was sympathetic, tho I don't like pipes. I've never smoked one and wouldn't want to.

I bet they'd portray a cigar smoker in the council offices as a toff on telly, but I don't think there are any toffs on here regularly! We seem (through print) pretty normal!

I hope! lol

04-11-2008, 04:28 AM
I remember hearing about the Blackpool pub owner who was fined for "flaunting the smoking ban" and the last I heard of it was that he was starting up some kind of campaign against the smoking ban, but I don't know whether much came of it :)

There are just 5 things that I would like to see happen in my lifetime, preferrably before any more anti-smoking laws/measures are introduced..... :mad::smoke: :biggrin1:

1. Gordon Turd and all the other labour F--kwits get booted out of Gov't without any further pay or income of any kind, to see how they like trying to struggle with having no money to pay the bills or to put food on the table on a daily basis.

2. The entire monarchy to be scrapped.

3. All tax duty increases since Morticia Thatcher came into power, to be removed with immediate effect.

4. ALL anti-smoking campaigning groups and supporters, as well as all those tobacco abusing companies that make countless amounts of chemical induced cigarettes, all be put into a space shuttle and blasted to the moon 1 way, so that they can moan, yap or do whatever the f--k they want.

5. The rest of the UK get back to being a decent and economicly stable country where people can enjoy a good proper smoke, a much cheaper cost of living and a better chance to have a happy and prosperous life :)

Wishful thinking, eh? :rolleyes: lol

Willie :smoke:

04-11-2008, 12:18 PM
I'm a toff Robusto,... no really I am. I was remarking to Jeeves the other day, as he starched my collars, just how frightful all the common people are.... did you know some of them don't even have a horse never mind a stable!

04-11-2008, 12:54 PM
Fancy a sect?