This post is an entry for our $25,000 scholarship contest. The post was created by Jimmy Semrick and may not always reflect the views of JW Surety Bonds.
In the midst of the communication age, the present era, a 2 ton car can be delivered to a customer from miles away, only stopping to go through customs and to switch modes of transportation. So why might “Stogies World Class Cigars” or “Lone Star Tobacco” go through a distributor to obtain their tobacco products? They could just as easily order them direct from the manufacturer in North Carolina or even Guatemala right? Wrong.
Tobacco distributors and wholesale marketers survive today because they are efficient and have international connections and dependents. This ensures that the consumer will get a fair price and the dealers can remain profitable. The distributors that remain today are businesses with great ethics and beneficial practices. Other distributors that may have failed and shut down did so do to their lack of competition and drive. The days of the “Middle Man” may be numbered, but in the case of the tobacco industry it is quite necessary and will remain that way for a long time. The reason it is so necessary is because of the locations that tobacco is grown, harvested, and manufactured. Of course tobacco is grown in developed areas, but many of the desired leaves, such as cigar tobacco in Nicaragua or the Dominican Republic, and cigarette tobacco of Turkey are grown in rural areas. This means that a dealer must physically purchase the product, process it elsewhere, and ship it from there. The rural growers in these places do not have the resources to do it themselves.
The journey of the tobacco after being shipped to its destination is extremely complicated. It must go through customs, and have a large number of duties and taxes added to it. Then it must be transported to a warehouse to be packaged or processed, in registered vehicles of course. Once in the warehouse, it is distributed to retailers, such as tobacco shops and convenience stores. The necessity of the distributor lies in the fact that it is quite complicated to import tobacco, and there are a number of restrictions and taxes the government has in place. These factors clearly show why tobacco distributors have survived while others such as food or appliance distributors have disappeared.
The tobacco industry is firmly rooted in American history, being the reason for the success of the Jamestown colony. Millions of American adults enjoy tobacco products and indulge in the traditions involved. Many famous inspirational figures smoked and had many positive things to say about tobacco, and the freedom to smoke.
“I don’t know. Everything. Living. Smoking” – John Paul Sartre (answering the question “What is the most important thing in your life?”)
“I used to smoke two packs a day and I just hate being a nonsmoker…. but I will never consider myself a nonsmoker because I always find smokers the most interesting people at the table.” – Michelle Pfeiffer
“If your wife doesn’t like the aroma of your cigar, change your wife.” – Zino Davidoff
Anti-tobacco groups and organizations do their best to make tobacco as difficult as possible to import and sell, but because of its history, and its importance to the United States, it will never disappear. America was built on freedom, and not many Americans will give that up, whether it is to be taxed without due representation, or to have to give up their weekly cigar. The government, however, will continue to add taxes and regulations to keep anti-smoking groups happy. Distributors will remain successful and profitable as long as these groups petition and protest, therefore inevitably. Distributors in the United States that have survived are strong, and have been tested. This is another factor for their continued success and promising future.
Tobacco Harvest. Digital image. Life Magazine, n.d. Web.
“Curious About Cuba: The Great Museums of Havana | Great Museums.” Great Museums. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2014.
“Old Picture of the Day.” : Cigar Shop. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2014. <http://old-photos.blogspot.com/2011/01/cigar-shop.html>.