The world of high end tubes continues to grow
a lot more interesting. When the Vera Cruz® luxury tube was introduced
in 2002 (www.veracruzbrand.com), events were
finally set in motion to change the look and engineering of a whole new generation of
filtered cigarette tubes. It's been our position for quite some time (actually since the
magazine's beginning in January 2000), that most MYO/CMC tubes were simply too generic
looking. Now for those already involved in MYO, this is really not too much of a problem.
They have learned the benefits of MYO and appreciate the immense level of improvement in
flavor over packaged cigarettes. Furthermore, most understand and have experienced how
this methodology has changed their attitudes towards tobacco use in general. Even more
importantly, they have realized how much pleasure can be obtained for the smoker with far
less consumption and with a minimum of additives that have unproven but nonetheless
varying concern for many (most). Tubes, perhaps only next to really good and easy to use
injectors, are the foundation of this experience. The great tobaccos, though now fewer and
surrounded by increasingly convoluted taxation schemes, including the very definitions
that distinguish between rolling and pipe tobaccos, remain ready and available. In the Tobacco Section
we finally have a clear enough picture of the future to share with you all the nuances of
these upcoming and perhaps final definitions. But at this juncture, let me just say that Peter
Stokkebye products (Now Villiger/Stokkebye) remain the absolute state of the art
in rolling tobacco. And with the tubes you are about to see, it just could not be better
for higher end perceptions.
Interestingly enough, though tobacco itself is in a fight that would discourage many of lesser fortitude, innovation and advances in the other aspects of RYO/MYO/CMC are really quite amazing. (CMC - Custom Made Cigarettes - is the new acronym we continue to prefer as it best describes the experience of making one's own cigarettes out of the highest quality tobaccos and tubes). Today's tobacco cost has risen (due to taxes from many directions) to the point that, and while we most vehemently feel that the governments (Federal and State) have egregiously over-reached in their powers to control the behavior of its citizens by taxation, CMC is no longer (and never should have been) about CHEAP! This experience is so superior to anything offered by packaged brands (for many reasons) that one should appreciate its benefits at any cost. If on a budget, simply smoke less, enjoying every puff as is offered by great tobaccos and tubes. Even among the already converted, including those that may have come to MYO for economic reasons at first, we continue to find a great deal of interest in better looking tubes which also include new basic design strictures as well. Longer filter elements, better design and even more variety as to other dimensions including slims. There are a number of new tubes that meet the expectations one should have for a truly elegant custom made cigarette. So we begin this section with a view of the most striking of those tubes that offer something special indeed.
While in the early 2000s, the VeraCruz line started the ball rolling, there are several new tubes whose makers have chosen to offer the consumer upgrades of one kind or another. Gizeh's newest Silver Tip Extra has gone to the considerable expense of increasing filter element length to 25mm (from the original 15mm). Consistent with all of Gizeh's ultra-high quality products, this new premium tube provides arguably, the mildest smoking experience yet available. (Except of course for the slim tubes coming in the future and a specific 100mm we'll show you a bit later). Readers have asked us for many years how they could duplicate the experience they enjoy from ultra-light cigarettes. While the bulk of the answer remains that packaged cigarettes contain more by-products than tobacco and thus are easier to manipulate as to perceived flavor strength, filtration does factor heavily into the equation. One could definitely taste the difference between, say a 15mm filtered Premier tube and the longer filtered (17mm) Escort (no longer made). It is important to note that, as we have warned over the past several years, regulatory agencies (now including the FDA) have threatened and now succeeded in disallowing the terms LIGHT, FULL Flavor, Ultra-Light, and such, both in tubes and in packaged cigarettes, so one must be careful in describing the true nature of tubes that provide different different levels of taste. With the VeraCruz line, the decision was made to simply name the various styles differently, rather than claim lighter or stronger versions. It really is up to the consumer to decide which level of experience they prefer. In fact I personally find many ultra-light cigarettes (or even rolling tobaccos) to be far more harsh than their previously named full flavor counterparts. The proof is in the the experience, not the adjectives.
The Silver Tip Extra, while producing no loss of true tobacco flavor, does provide a more subtle experience. It speaks in volumes of elegance and taste. And of course the longer the element, the less tobacco needed to fill the stick. Gizeh also used a slightly different tipping paper length than the standard 24mm for King-Size Tubes. The original prototype Gizeh Extra had a full length tipping paper that is commonly used in 100mm tubes (30+mm which leaves ~6mm or more unused tobacco depending on filter element length). It was two-toned (cork and white) tipping paper and the extra small white band carried the Gizeh name on the tipping paper itself. But while that created a very nice logo space and added expense to the overall tube, the critical element for us was that it left too much unsmokeable tobacco under the tipping paper. With traditional 15mm filter elements in a 24mm tipping paper tube, one loses 9mm of tobacco completely unreachable. Longer elements in the same length tipping paper waste less. The new Gizeh Extra uses a custom 28mm tipping paper, and with a 25mm filter element, one loses only 3mm of tobacco under the non-smokeable tipping. That 6mm reduction in tobacco waste becomes quite significant even in one box of tubes. We'll show you the numbers in the Tobacco Section but all of the newly upgraded premium design tubes use longer filter elements and thus waste less tobacco while providing a more subtle experience. With so much bad science associated with smoking and health, the impact on the smoker must remain focused on the perceived experience and NOT on any health consequences of more aggressive filtration (despite what any logical mental process would clearly seem to dictate). With a new crank injector and an improved adjustable hand injector (see Injector Section), Gizeh has taken laudable steps to improve the entire category. Being a moderate smoker, 6 or so sticks per day, this more aggressively filtered tube is one of my all time favorites.
While Gizeh spent their effort and money on filter length and custom sized tipping paper, Stan Malpass of Beretta Tubes went for the eye candy. His new Beretta tube has a longer filter than standard (17mm rather than 15mm) with even longer elements to come in the future, but the true punch to this product is its beautiful design. Right alongside the VeraCruz line, these new tubes are striking and quality intense. Now one may ask why that is important, and though we've answered this question many times over the past 12 years, it bears repeating. If one accepts as a given that reduced consumption (moderation) is a good thing, it follows that smoking needs to be transformed into a much more special and precious activity, more ceremonial than obsessive. It is as simple as this: the more expensive or exclusive the restaurant, the smaller the portions and people will always treat high quality products with increasingly more respect, wisdom and moderation. So right along with fine tobacco taste, one finds the physical eye appeal to lead to a greater appreciation of each stick. This is certainly nothing new, unless you've never eaten in a good restaurant or read a well written menu. The successful presentation of any product that leads to more positive expectations and satisfaction has always been most powerful when a product is attractive. No doubt the product must live up to the eye candy and these tube do. They smoke beautifully and reinforce to the user that this activity is special and not to be treated as a simple minded, unthinkingly verbose habit. We've taken these tubes around with us quite a bit and they always (like the VeraCruz) attract attention. But more importantly (and redundantly) they heighten the perception of the experience to one of special meaning for those who choose to smoke rather than are habitually driven to continue. We expect several additional styles of the Beretta to emerge in the near future. And here I might note that I love a good cheeseburger (love is an understatement). I consider a godd cheeseburger with lots of lettuce, tomato and onion the perfect food. I am not an elitist when it comes to food and ultra-fancy restaurants are rarely my thing. But when it comes to certain things like wine and tobacco products, the realtively small difference in price between garbage and very, very good always is justified.
Though we have written about D&R's Windsail tubes before, they too have a Special Edition Prestige cosmetic upgrade. The Windsail first distinguished itself by being the first regular (non-light) tube that had a white tipping paper. The Special Edition Windsail Prestige has the longer 20mm filter element and the design on the tube itself is very upscale. In addition to the blue and gold stripping on the white tip, the Windsail logo, on the paper itself, has a beautifully rendered Sailing Ship in gold that is really classy. It is a bit hard to see in this photo but in person it is quite pretty. And of course this tube, like the others mentioned here is made from the finest materials in the world, hand inspected, consistent and extremely sophisticated in its filtration of tobacco smoke. Filter density is high while the resulting flavor of fine tobacco is not lost. But the ceremonial aspect is ever present. Please consider again that smoking even the purest of tobaccos, regardless of how you view its ramifications, is an activity that, like a fine wine, should be performed at reasonably moderate levels to fully enjoy it. You don't get drunk on good wine. One's taste buds become saturated pretty quickly and abuse in the quantity of anything special removes the advantages you pay for - for that special quality - and fine tobacco is no different. All of these tubes are only marginally more expensive, and as tubes are the least costly component of the CMC experience, a minor cost difference will certainly be well made up with the appreciation driven reduced consumption that really special, visually appealing products can lead to. Seems to be a re-occuring theme here, I'd say and one that will remain consistent.
And of course the Vera Cruz family of premium tube continues to impress CMC patrons from across the economic spectrum. They were the first that made the statement that CMC is something special - visually and quality wise, far from the ill conceived image that the RYO/MYO industry was foolishly labeling itself as the "poor man's cigarette", or only for people who could not afford "real" cigarettes. The bottom line is that even with the finest (and highest taxed) rolling tobaccos, CMC is a bargain when compared to packaged brands and that is before the savings generated by reduced consumption (moderation) kick in. The VeraCruz line includes the brown "Nocturne" (2002), the more traditional "Elegante" (2004), and the all black and gold "Midnight" (2005/2006). All three have longer (20mm) high density filter elements, with the Midnight going a bit further with a 22m filter. Very little tobacco is wasted under the tipping paper (2mm) and the black Midnight paper is the most sheer ever used in a tube. In fact readers tell me that these tubes are so beautiful that they feel a bit guilty burning them. Again, an important first step to moderation.
It is also interesting to note that nearly all of the new generation of premium tubes are using oxygenated bleach for their white tubes rather than chlorine based whitening strategies. The tubes with colored paper need no bleaching of any kind. And there are a number of other new design tubes that exhibit the latest components in premium tubes. D&Rs Ramback (Elite and Prestige) which we've reviewed previously as well as HBI's Zen and Laramie tubes in all varieties exhibit one or more of the components of the new tube strategy. Longer filters, finer paper, more eye appeal. Compare these concepts to what we were all smoking in 2000 (shown below). Perhaps it is understandable why the early years of the RYO/MYO resurgence was allowed to focus on cost rather than quality. These older tubes were still quite good, but they were boring, contributing to a more mundane attitude of just how special and different CMC can be compared to unthinkingly mass consumed packaged brands. Today I can't think of a single nationally recognized brand of tubes that does not have much upgraded graphic appeal as well as top of the line components. Sure some get more complaints than others, usually caused by the fact that many mass produced tubes are not inspected individually by humans. The machines that make them are completely automated from raw component to finished master case. The better tubes have humans involved on the production line whose job it is to directly inspect a very large percentage of the product that passes before them. Yet tube prices have not increased much in 2010 dollars from the late 1990s. But boy they sure look and smoke a lot better. From Premier, to Gambler, to TOP the differences are notable and very special.
Zig-Zag tubes are extremely well made and their packaging is stunning and, important to note here, we've had nary a complaint about the ZigZag brand of tubes - ever. It is also important to **NOTE** that the newest ZigZag tube boxes, regardless of size no longer use the phrases Full Flavor or Light. Those are FDA Prohibited descriptions. As mentioned above where we from the beginning insisted on different names for the VeraCruz varieties (example Nocturne, Elegante, Midnight), ZigZag now uses Original and White Tipped (blue box) in both King-Size Length and 100mms. Most all brands have converted to one scenario or another to meet the new stricter mandates, and though we still feel it is once again typical over reach by the government, there is at least protection for the products already in the supply chain. The fact is that light tubes were not always as light in actual experience, though some were and were definitely milder as to impact. And Light varied with manufacturer so it never really was any more than an opinion (not quantified) due mostly to various filtration and paper porosity strategies each manufacturer (and not the smoker) employed. There never has been delivery specs like packaged cigarettes, nor could there be as there are too many variables as far as tobacco used, its moisture content and how the stick is packed. It really is up to the smoker, now more than ever, to decide what flavor experience they are most happy with in any brand, so always try all offerings before you commit to large quantities. Bottom line, ZigZag is a very old name and their tobacco has increasingly improved over the years and is one of the very best for those leaving packaged cigarette hell and their tubes are likewise outstanding in quality and performance. More on this and other manufacturer's tobacco offerings in the Tobacco Section, coming very soon. It's more complicated than ever and we've waited for brand and regulation stabilization as we absolutely hate to write about a product, only to see it changed or disappear much to soon.
We mentioned also above about the new Gizeh Silver Tip Extra being the mildest of all tubes. In KingSize that seems to us to be the case though their own Charbon (charcoal filtered) may still be milder. However the ZigZag 100mm, even in the original style, is far milder than any King Sized tube. Much longer filter elements (25+mm) and Zig Zag went with a slightly shorter tipping paper than most 100s (28mm) leaving less tobacco (3mm) wasted under the tipping paper than most brands of any size. Spectacular smoking tube with a longer tobacco chamber which aids in filtration as well. Yes, it's rather plain looking though the packaging is, as we said, stunning. Highly recommended, especially considering that the old problem of actually filling a 100mm tube is disappearing with many of the better electric machines, like the Oldham and Powermatic II, and manual cranks like the EXP 1000 and even the Supermatic and Top-O-Matic are getting much closer to filling 100mm tubes perfectly. But no 100mm tube we've seen is as easy to fill as this ZigZag. More about new injectors like the newest Powermatic II in the Injector Section.
Some tubes like Rizla (especially their cigarette size tube at right) periodically go in and out of production and at any given time we may be told that they are no longer being produced. The same with Club. Both brands are well made by Commonwealth Brands (Premier) and if you find them (they may be unsold older stock) they are still an excellent choice. So in all, the tube situation is sparkling. And it is a fact that we've seen over and over again in travels, conversations, and social situations, that one of the main reason MYO (now please CMC here and elsewhere) has failed to substantially increase its market share compared to packaged cigarettes, is the wrong-headed image of "the poor man's cigarette" that this industry continues to promote or even allude to.
This failed strategy is such because too many of the folks who work in this industry who do smoke simply don't understand the difference or the passion of their customers. Why, because they continue to smoke packaged "toxic waste filled" brand cigarettes themselves. In a comprehensive but casual poll we've been doing over the last ten years we found that about the same percentage of people in this industry smoke as does the general public (except for cigars - Jeez at the trade shows everyone has a cigar stuck in their puss). And within the industry only about 20% of those who do smoke, smoke MYO/CMC. They think the American public is "en masse" too lazy to make their own and blame lack of potential growth on that. And many still believe that the only reason people switch is for price, you know, poor folks, which has become a self-fulfilling prophecy to a degree. One spokesperson for an article in a trade magazine stated categorically that the only reason that people switch to RYO is that they are poor. The particular wag smokes packaged cigarettes by the bucketful and owns retail operations that sell (you guessed it) mostly packaged cigarettes. Some tell me they don't have time to make their own. Pure BS! Well now the price differentials are narrowing and I'll bet you the CMC category flourishes, especially now that the TTB (tax arm of the ATF) will likely soon finish their definitions of pipe versus roll your own tobacco. (More on this pipe tobacco fiasco in the upcoming Tobacco Section.) Smoking should not be just CHEAP. It is up to the consumer to educate members of this industry. Let them know your passion and tell them they are dead wrong in their assumptions about you. CMC as a premium smoking category is inevitable.
The farmers sure as hell aren't getting rich. The S-CHIP law that Obama foolishly signed has grown from its, at the time, $35 Billion cost to a recently estimated $78 Billion. Tobacco has a long history (a very politically cyclic one at that) and is a very worthy plant, worthy of respect and worthy of dedicated but moderate enjoyment. It is least useful and desirable as a mass consumption item. But it is worth fighting for a more sane and fair (what's that?) and frankly productive tax policy that discriminates equally against packaged cigarettes and roll your own. More on that in the Editorial Section and on the Cover.
We have probably left out some manufacturer's in the above but they know how we feel about their companies, at least all who go the extra mile to provide top notch products for their customers. And they do listen as proven by the new look of premium tubes for the new high end category that will be CMC (Custom Made Cigarettes). It is the future for people who enjoy great and real tobacco.
And now a brief interlude into an area that we have covered once in a while over the years. It still has to do with things to smoke tobacco in, but instead of tubes or papers we again look at some very special pipes. Now suppose you want a short smoke and are tired of either throwing away a partially smoked stick or simply don't have time to smoke a whole one. Back in 2001 we reviewed a product, the Tattoo pipe, that has generated nearly as much email as any other single product that came and went. We still get nearly 100 requests per month asking us to help people find the Tattoo. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the original article on the Tattoo you can see it here. Just close the new window to return here. However we will show you the pipe and discuss briefly its demise here in the US. It is still widely available in Europe especially in the Netherlands where it is made. As you can see in the photos here it was a really cool and colorful pipe. It used a BigBen brand filter and with the beautiful look of the pipe, it was a big seller. Music City Marketing, a major pipe distributor provided it to US stores. There was some legal BS about it perhaps being illicit drug paraphernalia but with the filter it used, as such would have been just plain silly, not to mention wasteful! Nonetheless MCM decided (or were forced) to discontinue bringing it into the US market.
Well times have changed and while the Tattoo is likely forever gone, it's price would be much higher ($15 originally to over $40 now) than before as well, various states are easing and some rushing headlong in the direction of pot acceptance if for no other reason than to fill their self-looted coffers. There is however a new product that has a filter that is intrinsic to its use, much more so than the Tattoo which could work with the filter removed (though the amount of smoke would have been nearly overwhelming). This new product is called the CigaPipe. It comes in two versions, one that Auto Loads (called the AutoLoader) and one that requires more traditional filling (the Evolution). And both versions come in a rainbow of colors. The first graphics are of the Tattoo (left and right) and then one with the Tattoo and the new CigaPipe together (lower right next paragraph) to show you their relative sizes. The Tattoo was a bit long for my pocket, the CigaPipe is much more convenient size wise. Also the filter in the Tattoo was expensive and did not last very long before saturation. The bowl was also of concern as it tended to catch on fire (burn) quite easily, especially with a torch lighter and the composite construction of the bowl itself left questions as to its chemical volatility. This was never explored so it is a concen to this day. I just feel uncomfortable smoking a pipe whose bowl will burn so easily. Those little corn cob pipes you find for a couple of bucks in smoke shops will burn as easily as most firewood (firewood, which by the way in California Parks like Yosemite, has nearly all the same health warnings on purchased campground boxes of it as do cigarettes themselves).
So Piparette (an Australian Company) decided to have a go at filling the vacuum left by the Tattoo although they may have done so unconsciously. We first saw Cigapipes over a year ago from another associate and we have spent quite a bit of time checking out the filter. Filters can worry me as much as burning bowls. I want to know what I am inhaling (besides tobacco smoke) and pipes like the Tattoo and the CigaPipe have great filtration which allows cigarette tobacco to be smoked in them. And they are convenient. I've been taking both models of the CigaPipe with me on the golf course and find that the couple of puffs one can easily enjoy is just about right in between shots. ( I play golf quite well and I like a fast pace - I hate standing around yapping - I'm there to play and try new shots and ball flight/spin/distance strategies - it's in large part a bit of a science for me - plus I love it). At any rate, the new CigaPipes from Piparette fits perfectly in my pocket and are, in fact, so small that they are easier to carry there than in a golf bag pocket (as I do with a cigarette case). The bowls are both made of pure hardwoods (not a pressed composite like the Tattoo) and the smoke produced is very mild. There are two versions, the Evolution and the AutoLoader.
They are pictured here (right) first alongside one of my few remaining Tattoos for size reference but make no mistake, these are much higher tech than the Tattoo. The filter alone is a marvel of engineering and we have seen the lab specs to ensure that the filter is all it's advertised to be. Extremely high quality cellulose acetate (similar to what tube filters are made of but much denser and more heat resistant). We show a picture of this remarkable filter here (below) but the picture tells only part of the story. Since any filter is the last thing in the smoke path, it is critical that filter material is as non-volatile and pristine as possible. The tests on this filter were quite amazing with many certifications to back it up. And then we jumped up and down on it as well (figuratively speaking). And its filters smoke better than any filter I've yet to try. The result is a much smoother smoke and the fact that both versions of the pipes are designed for a short smoke anyway, the filter life I've found is much longer than the 8-10 bowls the manufacturer claims.
The six sided hexagonal ribbed filter is encased in a plastic housing which includes a non-volatile silicon tip to hold the filter in place. We took it out of the housing to show it to you but during normal use one would never need to remove the actual element. You replace the whole assembly (sans mouthpiece) when needed. You CAN'T smoke these pipes without the filter so controversy over any classification as paraphernalia is moot. The filter (and the plastic encasement and silicon tip) are both discarded when they are saturated, keeping only the pipe and the mouthpiece. Both pipes come with a ten pack of the filters which will last a surprising long time if used exclusively for those times when a short smoke (a few puffs) is desirable. And those times are becoming increasingly common for a lot of reasons. In the end you end up spending less coin and probably will reduce your consumption as well. Now these pipes are not meant to replace tubes and papers. They are an added tool for the increasing convenience tobacco smokers today need.
The two designs are quite different in use. While they share the same filter component, the Evolution is more the traditional pipe in that it must be filled with tobacco by hand (so you gotta carry a small pouch/baggie of tobacco with you). The AutoLoader, on the other hand, has a self-contained tobacco reservoir that when rotated fills the pipe without ever touching the tobacco. You have to cut up your favorite tobacco and make sure it is dry enough to, once cut up, pour easily from the reservoir to the bowl. Filling the reservoir (which is removed for initial filling) and then dumping the cut tobacco out is a simple test to see if the tobacco is ready to flow into the bowl. Once the reservoir is filled, it is re-attached and ready for travel. It will hold plenty of tobacco for a day's worth of casual puffing. The Evolution, as stated above is more traditional so you have to carry a bit of tobacco to refill the small bowl. For some, one filling per adventure may be all that is needed, but for most we recommend a small baggie of your favorite tobacco precut with scissors. With the Evolution you don't have to cut up the tobacco as it is filled as any other pipe. We like the Evolution a lot as it holds a bit more tobacco in its bowl, mainly because you have to put it there and pack it down. The AutoLoader is much more convenient in a one-piece-does-all way, but a bit less tobacco is placed by rotating the bowl to fill it. Both work as advertised.
Piparette has come up with what should be a winner especially considering the demand that persists for the Tattoo. A small pipe that can duplicate the tobacco filled CMC tube method and do it as mildly as a tube really comes in handy. No it won't entirely replace tubes for most but it will serve its intended purpose amazingly well. Better news yet! You can buy this online directly from the manufacturer's sister site (click here or click their banner above the review) and not wait for these to show up in retail stores. Shipping is around $5 and it comes in 4-5 days. I would recommend this product for anyone on the go (like me playing golf or mountain biking) or for those who simply don't want or can't to take the time to smoke a whole stick. Anything that leads to moderation is always of interest to me and should be to you. With the high cost of great tobacco, people will find many ways to appreciate fine tobaccos while adjusting to fit shrinking budgets. In the end, we all win as the use of real tobacco is downsized for each person so that every puff is relished. Here again is the link to go directly to the Piparette site. There is a very good video on the site regarding the use of the AutoLoader and placement of filter components for both pipes. If you have questions let us know. We can do a more comprehensive video if our readers have trouble figuring it all out but watch the video at the Piparette site. It should be all you need. A really novel product. So now you can stop writing us about the Tattoo. This pipe smokes better than the Tattoo and is smaller. The filter, again, is fantastic. The Evolution is my favorite as it is filled like any other pipe with the capability of very tightly packing down the tobacco for a very nice long smoke. On the other hand, the Auto Loader is about convenience and being able to carry tobacco right in the pipe's reservoir. Your choice - just try it!
A few further graphics should make the methodology of these two pipes clear. The Auto Loader video on the linked website is quite good but you may still have questions. So here are a few more hints: By the way the little metal pin with the loop at its end on the top of the AutoLoader is not in the video. It is simply a new additional retention support Piparette thought a good idea. And the last graphic below right shows the actual smoke path which is to the side of the bowl where the filter is. AutoLoader only. The Evolution is (again) traditional in every way but size and superb filtration.
This magazine has always touted the quality of the MYO (Now CMC - Custom Made Cigarettes) experience as well as the sensible use of the products of this category. The fact that it saves money is (at least should be) of little importance OTHER than as a symbolic rejection of worldwide governmental intrusion and social engineering by means of targeted taxation schemes as well as the total rejection of the avarice of too many greedy non-profit do-gooders who care far more about money than anyone's health. Long sentence filled with truth!
Consequently, the only logical course is to spread the word of the advantages of the MYO/CMC methodology (reduced dependence on nicotine enhanced by less consumption of more chemically free products, wider choices as to what to put in your particular cigarette tube, and the overall incredibly satisfying flavor nature of the experience). Determined smokers who try CMC/MYO under the right circumstances (good, easy to use injectors, good tubes that have some cosmetic appeal, and great tobaccos) most often switch. The current large majority of packaged cigarette smokers don't need to be baited with cost advantages. They'll realize that soon enough, mainly because of self controlled consumption which cannot, even under the worst of future tax scenarios, be regulated away. And, as we've noted many times in these pages, Americans and people in general often become brand loyal to certain cigarettes because they view it as mark of status. The very idea that CMC/MYO is for those who can't afford "REAL" cigarettes should have died long ago. The states, feds, and anti-smoking parasites will continue, as long as they are allowed to by we the general public, to make things difficult for those who choose to enjoy tobacco in any form. Until our population finally gets wise to the fact that this issue goes far beyond tobacco, to the very heart of freedom of personal choice and its resulting acceptance of personal responsibility, there will be forces against the smoker. Trying to hide in a less visible market share will do little good. There is still plenty of money in the CMC/MYO sector to attract the parasites as we have seen with the latest S-CHIP legislation (supported, it is important to note, by both Democrats and Republicans). It is only a matter of time and if the population has not rid society of these groups and the career politicians that enfranchise them, then the smoker must be prepared to pay higher costs. It's an act of balance and timing.
I think (know in fact) the American people are fed up with the lunatic fringe that extorts money from smokers in the cause of a better life for everyone because it is beginning to effect the choices of non-smokers as well, in many market sectors (soft drinks, fast food, sweets). I think Americans have already realized these groups are solely after the money to which they've become addicted far more than any smoker is to nicotine. However, regardless of who leads the debate at any given time, this industry is waging a logistically losing battle by focusing so much on low cost. If you are going to enjoy tobacco, allocate reasonable resources to enjoy the best you can afford. You cannot do that with packaged cigarettes. You have no real choice there and the pack mentality will over rule even your best intentions for self-control. Only in high quality CMC/MYO do you have both the variety, purity of product, and a chance at self-controlled responsibility for what you ingest. These things, in and of themselves, have value worth paying for. Smoke less of a great product and pay less in the long run (in many ways). It really is as simple as that. You're gonna continue hear that drum as long as we can beat it. If you are a retailer go to the TPE 2011 in Las Vegas in March. It is a vital show for those who really wish to see the best of the best and continue to be aware of future products.
This is all we have for now from the world of tubes and it is a lot - WHEW!!!!. As more new designs come to life, we will test them and let you know what we think. For those of you new to all of this, we suggest you consult our Archive section as every tube in the world worth writing about will be found there. Until next time, keep in touch and let us know your thoughts on each of the products we review. This is a fascinating subject that is shared by many hundreds of thousands of readers and each of us wants to know what the other person's impressions are. We look forward to hearing from you. -the ed.- Doug
|EDITOR'S NOTE: These reviews are solely for the convenience of people of legal age who already smoke, are trying to cut down on smoking, wish to spend less money on their smoking, want to roll their own cigarettes from high quality tobacco, and, in general, wish to have a far more satisfying, and economical smoking experience when compared with smoking pre-manufactured cigarettes. We, in no way, encourage people to smoke. Further, we prescribe to a sane, more logical approach to smoking that involves common sense as to quantity coupled with a strong desire to manage the habit until it becomes an occasional, freely chosen, diversion, that can be fully enjoyed with minimal health risks. Finally, we strongly encourage those who do smoke to take it outdoors, or to appropriate environments where tobacco can be enjoyed away from those who do not smoke, most especially children. We do not sell tobacco or related products from this site; We distribute information about our perceptions of the quality of what is available and where it can be obtained. If you are under 18, it is illegal to buy tobacco and you should immediately exit this site. If you do not smoke, it would seem illogical to start.|
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