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Home » Cigar FAQ

BYOC (Bring Your Own Cigar)

Submitted by Rob on December 23, 2009 – 8:00 am6 Comments

As an official supporter of the local tobacco brick and mortar shops across the world it is important to know the etiquette when it comes to BYOC (Bringing in Your Own Cigar).

Many of the frequent cigar lounge patrons have seen this situation occur: “The Oxygen Thief”, as he will now be described, walks into the establishment and sits in the most comfortable seat in the house. This is the same person who will continue to plug in his laptop, connect to the Wi-Fi and make a special request for what plays on the TV.  “The Oxygen Thief” reaches into his bag and pulls out a package of cigars he ordered online and smokes for hours, enjoying the fine amenities.

Lounges Operate On Fixed Prices
While “The Oxygen Thief” is sitting in his luxurious leather chair enjoying the free Wi-Fi the shop provides it may be a surprise just how hard the retailer has to work to provide these amenities. It may be slightly obvious to everyone that the lounge has some larger fixed costs such as the electricity, retail rent, inventory and the basic payroll. It may surprise everyone just how large some of these basic expenses are.  Remember that the shop must run multiple TV’S, florescent signage, a humidity system 24 hours a day, smoke eaters, fridges, a security system and provide multiple outlets for consumers to plug in their various electronics.

The retailer is forced to cut a check to pay for these operational costs. I hope it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the funds primarily come from the sale of the cigars inside the humidor. You must now take into account that the price of the product is set by the manufacturer by contractual agreement. A typical agreement dictates the sale price while the shops limited ordering ability increases the cost. To put it plainly the retailer now has very little “wiggle room” for making a profit and freeing up funds to distribute back into the lounge.

*Without getting too technical it is important to remember retailers must also face higher city, state, and national taxes on tobacco related items that only trend upwards. Additionally the mark up of cigars is far less than any other item in a retail environment (clothing, jewelry, etc.)

Why We Must Support Retailers
There are infinite numbers of reasons that anyone who enjoys smoking cigars should support their local lounge. Again it comes to no surprise that a cigar lounge creates one of the most relaxing and enjoyable social communities. This is a haven where we, cigar smokers, can escape the troubles of the day and fully relax. People of all social classes will combine and produce great conversation, laughter, and general enjoyment of one another. What other commodity is capable of encompassing such a group of people from all walks of life?

In an increasingly isolated world where technology has made us social hermits, it seems only right and true that we celebrate establishments that carry on the good fight to bring people together in reality, instead of cyberspace.

So What’s The Deal On BYOC?
Do not bring in your own cigar. “The Oxygen Thief” is coming into the shop to enjoy the communal setting and luxuries that are being provided by the retailer. The irony will be that these services will no longer be available for all to enjoy without the support of a meager cigar or related merchandise purchase. Please know this is not a cut and dry answer to every situation. Just remember that we must support the local tobacconist who supports us.

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  • Ian says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. People think it’s their “right” to go to a shop and sit down and smoke whatever they want without buying a thing. Not only is it rude, but they’re effectively helping that store close rather than continue to flourish.

  • Stephen says:

    I can’t believe this has to be said although sadly we have all seen them. What gets me is that you would not walk into a restaurant with your own food, or go to a bar with your own liqour. Of course you can cook at home or drink at home for much cheaper but you go out to engage in human contact and supporting hardworking retailers

  • Greg says:

    I think even better is the Oxygen Thief who becomes all indignant when confronted about his lack of couth. I just don’t get it…I mean you don’t bring your own beer to a bar (even though you can get it cheaper in the supermarket)!

    Support yourt local B&M

  • Richard Bui says:

    I generally go to my lounge and smoke my own stuff (because they don’t carry what I like to smoke), but I do buy a cigar that I’m interested in trying each time I’m there. Would that still be classified as an “Oxygen Thief”?

    • Rob says:

      I don’t think that would be considered a “Oxygen Thief” in the least bit. You are helping the store, lounge, place of hang out stay alive.

  • Moe says:

    What about the lounges that the smoker pays an annual membership fee. Is this considered an Oxygen Thief situation?