Cigars fought the law, and the law won

By Bill Post

Not only have cigar shops in Oregon for the most part been shut down due to the “clean air act” or the “smoke free workplace act”, but with HB 2385, the Legislature is now wanting to increase taxes on cigars!!

And with HB 2110, Gov. John Kitzhaber is “wanting” another increase in the “Other Tobacco Products” (OTP), read cigar, tax.

So, I humbly submit my story from last June showing the chain of events of misdeeds by DHS (below).

There are two bills from Rep. Michael Schaufler (D-Happy Valley) in the House to amend the laws: HB 2601 and HB 3329; but the cigar tax will just further hurt this industry in Oregon that has already been devastated!


SUNDAY, JUNE 6, 2010

As some of you may know, I have been involved with Avva Cigars and Wine’s fight with the Oregon Department of Health and Services (DHS) over whether Avva should have been allowed the “smoke shop exemption” as accorded in the statute.

I have posted before, the law and the application of the exemption. I now bring new evidence that should alarm anyone who is concerned about liberty, freedom and who are against State control.

On my radio show on Monday, from noon to two, I will be reading this evidence along with playing sound files that show a willful denying of the exemption by 4 women who work for DHS, and how that denial has been unlawfully applied and the appeal process by Avva has been intentionally delayed or strategically denied by DHS employees who have used at the least, improper strategy.

See in the photo below, in the middle, an email from Kylie Menagh of DHS in which she brags about how they can delay the process (Miss Menagh refers to herself in various emails as: Tobacco Prevention Coordinator, and in others as: MPH, Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Program). Click here to see the email

In that same email photo you can see the back and forth emails where these DHS employees begin a process of making up policy and procedure “on the fly” as they did not have any policy or procedure set down to follow.


In another email, Miss Jill Thompson of DHS states that she couldn’t even find Avva Cigars until she “followed her nose” so to speak, when she was on an outing with her “BF and Son” (which by the way, the smoke she smelled was from the Cigarette smokers area at the front door of the Mall, not from Avva). Click here to see the email


Here is where the “cover up” gets interesting. On Dec. 7, 2009, the decision was made that Avva would be “indefinitely denied” as you can see from the photo of the email below. Click here to see the email

Avva was never informed of the “indefinite denial” but was told it’s application was denied on Dec. 10, 2009.


On Dec. 18, 2009, DHS employees began to attempt to conceal their activities by removing all communication regarding Avva’s application process to “telephone communication only”. Why would they do this? Well as you can see by the email below, my radio show had started quite a stir with my listeners who began calling DHS, Marion County and their representatives. One of those representative, Matt Wingard, and his assistant Dawn Phillips even went so far as to begin their own investigation into the matter and to begin to attempt to contact these employee’s own boss, Dr. Bruce Goldberg, head of DHS. Read the email. Click here to see the email

By Dec. 30, 2009, Avva requested an opportunity to submit additional material to support it’s case to appeal the denial. Avva was not aware of the “indefinite denial” as these were again, internal emails. Avva did not receive a response on this additional information until April 7, 2010. The case is now before a DHS hearing, conducted by DHS. (I bet that will be “objective”?)


Tomorrow, on my radio show, I will go into further detail, the “why” DHS denied Avva’s exemption, play audio from the Senate floor of the Legislature as Sen. Prozanski and Sen. Walker actually describe how a “smoke shop located in a mall setting would be exempted” and how DHS employees willfully and purposely have “bent the law” to their own agenda that was best stated by Miss Menagh when she told the owner of Avva (and the owner of Rich’s Cigars in Portland): “my mission is to end ALL smoking in Oregon and will do what I can to achieve that goal”.

THAT my friends, is what “state control” looks like. Not “state” as in the State of Oregon, but “state” as in “socialist state”. A “state” where one’s personal and business rights are trampled on by “state” employees who have the power, not voted on by the people, but power handed to them by their employer, The State of Oregon. This is how quickly freedom can be squelched!


I beg you to listen tomorrow to my show, hear the evidence and then contact DHS, Marion County Health and your local Representative and have them look into this matter. It’s not about smoking or not smoking. It’s about Personal Freedom!



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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in OR 76th Legislative Session | 51 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Gotalight

    Cigars are bad. Anyone who can afford to buy a cigar can afford to pay a very small tax on that cigar. Without these taxes Oregon can not help people like me, who need free health care due to years and years of smoking cigars.
    I used to smoke and/or chew 8 to 10 cigars a day. I inhaled, too. Quite a rush.
    Anyway, these taxes can save lives and help people like me who have made some bad decisions in the past but now know they were wrong but who are incapable of doing anything about that newly discovered truth because we are life’s helpless, hapless, luckless losers.

  • Cigarchomper

    I order all my Cubans from a guy in LA. No tax, to tarriff, nothing but one sweet stick to puff on all day long!
    Man, those Cubans know how to roll.
    We package them inside fake antiquities so if anyone opens the package for inspection all they find are some large vases and carvings and such like. When I get them (UPS or FEDX ground are best but USPS is good too as they are running out of money so can’t check many packages) I just smash (carefully) the fake thing and out pops a couple dozen Cubans, hand rolled, fresh, and ready to smoke.
    What’s the fuss.
    Anyone can do this – it is easier than going to a shop somewhere – and much, much cheaper. I can buy Cubans for less than some dog cigar from some minor Latin American country because I am not paying any tax – state or federal.
    Not a dime.
    Man, you people who follow every letter of the law and then complain because the stupid people in Salem are taking all your money are just too dumb to go around the system.
    Figure it out you losers.

    • Johnnylaw

      Who are you? I will turn you in and get rich from the reward.
      If you skirt the taxes you are only hurting the people who need the most help.
      Please, do not buy anymore cigars from your friend in LA.
      You are breaking the law and I don’t want to see you go to jail.
      Stop before it is too late.

  • Nosmoking

    Persons who smoke cigars offend me and my nose. I wish they would simply outlaw them rather than slowly take them away through these moronic taxes.
    Oregon will soon be a smoke-free zone (well, except for the forest fires) and that can’t happen soon enough for me. I am allergic to most smoke from cigs and cigars and such.
    I don’t even like the mist from those ecigs, because mentally they trigger a bad reaction. Those, too, should be outlawed.
    Now, some fine weed is OK by me, but not tobacco. Even though it was the smoke of choice among our native peoples.

  • Cigarcan

    You know, just a pinch between your cheek and gum, gives you smokeless pleasure all day.

  • Bob Clark

    DHS and OHA are truly hideous government controlling bureaucracies, never happy unless their ability to tax and spend is escalating. Their behavior is the kind of government oppression which led to the current North African revolution. A fruit street vendor just trying to earn a living is squeezed by a government bureaucrat, but eventually this vendor stands up and carries the cross of everyday peoples. Everyday Oregonians need a new bill of rights to protect them from the ever hideous bulwark of Oregon state and local (individual freedom stifling) governance.

    • Joe

      With all the troubles facing our state, here is an elected moron jamming more nanny state BS down our collective throats. Get the hell out of my life and do what you were elected to do Greenlick. You should first have your dumb ass severely kicked, then thrown out of office for wasting our valuable time on stupidity. Get to work on substantial issues!!

  • Jan

    The ever increasing tobacco taxes and smoking ban have contributed to the decline of revenue in Oregon. There is no tobacco product sold in Oregon that cannot be obtained by the wily smoker at a price they are willing to pay. The OTP tax is 65% of the wholesale cost, no merchant can mark up their products by 65%. The state is in the tobacco business, only like all good moralist some legislators feel guilty about being in the evil tobacco business, so they tax and regulated to make themselves feel good. Look at me, I’m tough on tobacco, looking out the the kiddies.

    Yes, taking care of the kiddies, knowing full well a the Internet sucks dollars out of state and a black market takes more. So they cut schools, health care, public safety and other state services. But they are tough on tobacco! The state budget in in the tank, but we cannot reduce a tax to bring back revenue can we? That might indicate our lawmakers are soft of tobacco the evil empire since the fall of the USSR. Must have someone or something to hate and for now it is tobacco, keep the people divided and distracted so they don’t see the slight of hand politics.

    The lottery revenue took a dive after the smoking ban, that was good for all the things our elected leaders plead to save session after session.

    Tobacco is legal and the state will never ban it, they are addicted to tobacco taxes, but they are raised them to an insane level that drives off the customer. Perhaps we need more pragmatic lawmakers who recognize their job is to optimize revenue, not run it off. Basic economics 65% of no sale is no tax revenue. Smokers have not quit smoking, they quit buying in Oreon. Maybe this session the brain trust in Salem will wake.

    To all who post they hate tobacco, they too benefit from tobacco taxes by the many things tobacco taxes once paid but are now declining. You too shall have your chance to pay your “fair” share for state services as this evol source of revenue continues to decline.

  • I am the Portland Oregon Nature Examiner and I have smoked a pipe for decades because I enjoy the “french vanilla/campfire” smoke as an outdoorsman and Wilderness Ranger. I smoke a pipe just like Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and General Patton & President Obama! I am sick of do-gooders minding my business and not theirs. I don’t live in Nazi Germany yet?

    • Cigarman

      I am afraid you do my man! My Cubans really give tobacco pleasure, but soon I will not be able to smoke anything else, as the Cubans have no taxes at all!

    • Fnature

      Bil Post: My great uncle was working or arranging railcars for Germany before Hitler took power. Suddenly he got a promotion and more demand for railcars. When he questioned why; he was told to do a better job or his family would be on a railcars in the future. USA & Oregon picks on smokers, like Jews and Gypsy because they dont have a lobby to protect them “sinners”. Hitler told SSS to find scientific reason Jews were inferior; just like DHS says smoking is bad for your health. So is walking down town portland at rushhour? What ever, Holy grail you follow Kitzhaber by allowing a chosen few to dictate what citizens can and WON’T DO IS A VERY SLIPPERY ROOF! MY WIFE,of 35 years smokes too and cirgarettes used to be cheaper than meds to calm her? All Recreation smokers have quit; so Kitzhaber move onto some other holy grail like politicians or BEER- if you must

  • Justsaying

    Poor people should get cigar cards so they can afford these high priced sticks of pleasure.

  • Brodhead

    From the desk of:

    Brodhead for Congress
    P.O. Box 2725
    Hillsboro, Oregon

    To: The Oregonian

    Americans have become all too familiar with media manipulation by politicians for the strict purpose of harvesting “No crisis will go to waste.” We heard this statement from a democratic strategist during the presidential elections when our economy started to tank!

    We have also observed the use of “No crisis should go to waste” when Teddy Kennedy was paraded on the senate floor during the health care vote. Then of course, we listened while Obama harvested the tragedy in Tucson for the purpose of casting “Conservatives” as harsh and crazy!

    I suggest strongly that David Wu followed suit and orchestrated this entire “Tiggergate” event for the strict purpose of harvesting “ No crisis should go to waste” and generating a nationally televised “Free Press fund raiser.” Moreover, he wittingly cast “The Oregonian” as heartless, and aligned himself with mainland China for an additional revenue donation stream.

    First he is invited to the White house to meet with Obama, and Hu Jintao the president of mainland China, when previously David Wu was a strict supporter of Taiwan, and constantly berated mainland China for human rights violations. In addition, David Wu has gone so far as to help facilitate Arms sales to Taiwan! So, this event was a complete departure from his previous positions and dedications.

    Next he attacks Rush Limbaugh via the internet for “Making fun of the president of China!”
    Then his devout democratic staffers leak harmless “Tigger pics,” and “ Hear say” on David Wu taking prescription pills!

    The information goes viral, and “low and behold,” David Wu gets an interview on “Good Morning America,” Portland local TV, and coverage from utter hundreds of paper and internet-based newspapers and news organizations, while shunning The Oregonian, and other local paper based news media organizations.

    I urge that this whole affair was a “ Staged political theater” for the direct purpose of harvesting “no crisis should go to waste!” This elaborate scam was simply a fund-raiser that harvested “ Free press” on a massive scale. David Wu’s “Good place now,” is how he has positioned himself with China, Taiwan, and the pity of the Oregon voter. The whole affair was a scam on “Free Press!” This is insulting and an incredible level of political self serving absurdity and non value adding activity.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if David Wu put this much effort into providing solutions to our fiscal predicament instead of his own shallow self serving antics?

    Stephan Brodhead

    • The Bill Post Radio Show

      Mr. Brodhead: what the heck does your letter here, have to do with the story on cigars? THIS is why most people think you are totally nuts.
      PLEASE for the love of Pete, seek help.
      thank you
      Now, to the subject at hand:
      There are several bills in the House centering on cigars and cigars shops.
      Most of them trying to clarify what the original SB was addressing, that no one wants smoking in public anymore, especially when it comes to employees.
      What DHS has decided is that NO ONE should smoke, period.
      What they decide and what the law says are two different things.
      Hopefully the legislature will clarify what was set in law a few years ago and now
      will get it corrected so that State employees can’t become “gods” and decide the law for themselves.
      It looks to me like most of the commenters here did not read the entire story above.

  • Kingston

    Why are cigars being given special treatment. They should be regulated and taxed like everyone else.

    • Kneady

      Regulated and taxed like everything else. You’re a moron and should learn how to read.

  • Kingston

    Cigars are taxed differently and less than cigarettes. It makes no sense.

  • valley person

    What, did Catalyst finally get tired of making plastic bags the most important issue of the century? Now you are on to cigars? Is that progress?

  • Anonymous

    It is people such as yourself who help to eradicate our “rights”. Because these e-ciggs trigger a mental bad reaction that just can’t be happening at all , you think our rights should be just taken away for that? No wonder we no longer live in the land of the free with people such as yourself wanting to deny people the right to not harm anyone, but yet somehow you think it should be outlawed. If e-ciggs don’t harm anyone in the vicinity or the smoker, then where is the damage?

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