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My friend is smoking a fake Cuban, should I tell him or not? A question that a lot of people struggle with. Others don’t. And with an increase of counterfeit Cohiba photos being uploaded to Facebook, more and more calls not to tell someone show up. But for Ministry of Cigars, the answer is simple. Yes, absolutely, tell. No discussion about it. Warn your friend. 

But of course, this comes with diplomacy. Don’t be a dick. And that goes for personal friends, online friends, or even strangers on social media. Tell, warn, and educate, but do it in a way how you would want to be told, warned, and educated. Help a brother or sister of the leaf, upgrade their knowledge but do it in such a manner that they aren’t offended. And that is something that is lacking on social media a lot. Unmannered, rude, keyboard warriors being negative nannies instead of being helpful brothers of the leaf.

The people that are in the “don’t tell” corner say it will ruin the smoking experience of the friend. Or maybe break their heart a little when their expensive Cohiba turns out to be a $2 fake. And there is something to say for that, yet we think that telling and educating your friend is still the best option. Why? Let us explain

Three reasons

There are plenty of YouTube videos and horror stories of people cutting open counterfeit Cuban cigars and finding stuff that should not be smoked. Floor sweepings, rubber bands, rat poop, banana leaves, you name it. For Ministry of Cigars we smoked a few counterfeit cigars, but each and every time we cut one open first. And so far, we have been lucky. But your friend might not be lucky and possibly smoke something very dangerous to his health. That is a hell of a reason to warn him.

A good second reason to tell him, and educate him is so that he won’t make the same mistake twice. Teach him the basics on how to recognize counterfeits from the real deal. At Ministry of Cigars, we published three articles (click here for article one, article two, and article three) with tips and videos on how to spot counterfeits. 

The third reason has less to do with your counterfeit smoking friend but with the seller and manufacturers of these cigars. As long as you don’t educate your friend, he will keep buying this shit. And the scammers will keep selling below par quality cigars for top dollar. Educate your friend, and you hurt these criminals right in their wallets. The more educated people there are, the less money these scammers make.

So next time you see a friend is smoking a fake Cuban, be courteous, and explain nicely why you think it is a fake. And teach the original poster how to avoid falling into the scam next time. That way you’re an asset in the war against these criminals, and you are turning victims into assets as well. That is the way to help fight the counterfeits.

photo credit header photo by Vincent Chan on Unsplash

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