A friend of mine, Glynn Quelch, at Gauntleys tobacconist in Nottingham (http://cigars.gauntleys.com/search.php?gq=&f=producttype%3Acigars,producer:Regius&o=popularity) is a true pioneer.
In a token (obscene) gesture to the onerous taxes in the United Kingdom, which are 10 times that in the United States approximately for a standard Robusto cigar), Glynn decided to grow some tobacco in the UK, cure it and roll it into cigars. He has kindly given me permission to display the following photos:
Made from Cuban seed tobacco, Glynn assures me they draw properly and the quality of the bunching in the filler does not look bad. A good first effort – save one for me chap!
Here Glynn writes about the 17th century black market for tobacco, which in many ways is like the market for cannabis now. Interesting reading.
Taxation started as a way to finance wars, and was based on the number of windows one had in their house. The theory being that windows which let in sunlight were an indicator of affluence. So of course, many people decided to brick up their windows. Now it is widely reckoned that roughly 60p in every pound spent is taken in some form of taxation (income tax, corporation tax, VAT etc). As a price for a stable, egalitarian, democratic and lawful state, this is ludicrous.
Smokers are huge net contributors to the NHS. Criminal gangs and smugglers are benefiting from this sub optimal level of taxation. The government and British business are losing huge amounts of potential revenue from people going on legal “tobacco cruises” to Spain to buy cigars. For a legal product which many consume and enjoy, and one which has lifted many out of poverty and supported employment in the developing world, this is a confused state of affairs. Glynn, thanks for standing up and drawing attention to a ridiculous situation.