Cigar Rights of the World interview. In January of this world, a new grassroots organization saw the light, Cigar Right of the World. A grassroots movement to protect the rights of cigar smokers around the world. It is the third Cigar Rights movement on our globe, after Cigar Rights of America and Cigar Rights of Europe. To understand more about this organization, Ministry of Cigars reached out to Reinhard Pohorec, one of the founders of Cigar Rights of the World.
Dear Reinhard, what is Cigar Rights of the World?
It’s a global movement, by the people, for the people. It’s about the people who love and enjoy a hand-made, premium cigar. It’s about the consumers and our vision is to give all these people a platform to have their voice be heard, to raise their voice, and be united under a global bond of connectivity.
What inspired you and Jeremiah (Meerapfel) to start it?
One particular conversation, during our end of the year – Light em Up Lounge show got Jeremiah thinking. Reinhold Widmayer (Cigar Journal) brought up the question of why Cigar Rights organizations are sometimes having such a hard time reaching the people who ultimately matter: the cigar consumers. Jeremiah made it his personal mission to create a global platform that will be at the service of the consumers and also helping and supporting all existing platforms with their efforts, by directing the weight and the voice of the consumers to them.
My ambition and passion have always been to humbly serve the cigar industry I love so much. And not just the industry but all the amazing men and women behind it. Because of my independent position within the industry as well as my sincere wish to bring people together, unite the brothers and sisters of the leaf globally, and offer them new ways of interacting and engaging, Jeremiah kindly asked whether I could dedicate my time and effort to this platform. I’m happy and honored to do so.
In the press release, it said that it’s a consumer organization, yet Jeremiah Meerapfel is the founder and you are part of the industry as well. Don’t you think that’s a conflicting message?
Cigar Rights of the World is a platform by the people, for the people. The board of directors will be comprised of end consumers and they will steer this ship to where it needs to go. Jeremiah and I are just humble servants of the greater cause, trying to coordinate, help to start a grassroots movement and get it to a level where it all falls into the consumer’s hands. It’s solely about them, the people who love and appreciate fine, handmade premium cigars.
Is a Cigar Rights organization without the support of the industry even possible? Can and will consumers raise enough funds to fight legislation? CRA operates in the largest market, with industry support and they already struggle to keep afloat. Won’t that be harder for a worldwide organization?
CRA, CRE, PCA, and other organizations are usually industry-led organizations with the intention to lobby and to bring the voice of the manufacturers or the industry to legislative entities, politicians, etc.
Cigar Rights of the World is an organization to consolidate and unite the voice of the consumers and bring it to the industry organizations, to all existing Cigar Rights platforms, and to all the various endeavors already out there.
We’re not thinking solely in traditional structures or along the beaten tracks of platforms and how they are being comprised. We want to create a new dynamic and let the voice, weight, and impact of the consumers form an entirely new wave.
How does CRW work differently than CRA and CRE?
Entirely differently. We’re not a lobbying organization. We’re a community movement that puts the cigar community globally into focus.
Cigar Rights of the World is to empower the people. Cigar Rights of the World is to make sure that the consumers always have their say if they wanna say it.
What influence do you think CRW can have?
We’re talking about cigar lovers and cigar smokers all around the world. They have a voice. And they all have their rights. To walk in a park, to enjoy a good glass of wine, to enjoy a premium cigar. We’re here to consolidate and unite all the people, to gather this global community, so they can voice themselves. Empowering the people to raise their own voices, to have a say, and to be redirected to the right channels can only be a wonderful, and hopefully impactful cause.
CRA is fighting for the rights in one country, that’s manageable. CRE is already facing way more problems getting organized due to different countries and different legislation. It will be even harder for CRW. What are your plans to conquer that?
We’re not called cigar right fighting organization. We’re bringing people together to gain a better understanding of their wishes and needs throughout the world, to facilitate their voice. We bring consumers around the table when they need it. Cigar Rights of the World is an organization at the service of everybody. We’re not here to lobby in all various legislations thus we do not primarily focus on sifting through all these different jurisdictions. We will bring the voice and the weight of the cigar-loving community to the right places, entities, and endeavors. The people themselves will define where their power needs to go.
is CRW related to CRA and CRE? Are you joining forces with these two organizations?
Cigar Rights of the World is 100% independent. We’re at the service of everybody who sees value in our contribution, in our uniting mission, and our heartfelt efforts.
Will there be different chapters in different countries, like how the CRE wants to operate?
This is a global community of people we want to get around the table. We want to help them find the right channels, define how our voice can help the organizations out there. We have ambassadors all around the world and they primarily act as multipliers or first points of contact in specific areas. Our ambassadors are our leaders, our generals, our multipliers, they are us. They are the people to make it happen for us.
What can cigar media and cigar influencers do to help the cause?
Everything! They are our fuel, our catalyzer, they are the link between Cigar Rights of the World and everybody out there. They ARE us. They ARE not only part of this but its heart and soul. Ultimately, we’re all cigar consumers and we’re all fellows of the leaf. Influencers, opinion leaders, media, spokesperson, whatever you want to call them: they are not helping us, they ARE Cigar Rights of the World.
If you are curious about Cigar Rights of the World, visit their website. And join, it’s free. Make your voice heard, protect our hobby.