As an expression of public defiance to Orange County Mayor Richard T. Crotty’s executive order prohibiting tobacco use by anyone in any workplace or public area on or in county property, the world’s largest cigar has gone on display at Corona Cigar Co.’s store at 7792 W. Sand Lake Rd. in Orlando, Florida (http://www.coronacigar.com).
Store owner Jeff Borysiewicz brought the mammoth tobacco product from New Orleans where it was on display during the 78th Annual Convention and International Trade Show of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association. Borysiewicz is a member of the IPCPR Board of Directors.
The smokable, long-filler Corojo #5 Gran Robusto El Gigante cigar was made in the Danli, Honduras factory of the Gran Habano Cigar Company. It is 19 feet long, three feet in diameter, weighs 1,600 pounds (2,500 pounds, including the case) and includes 16,000 wrapper leaves. The cigar took 20 workers 20 days to make and has a retail value of $200,000. It will be on display through August 29th.
Borysiewicz has been campaigning against Mayor Crotty’s outdoor smoking ban because he believes it is unconstitutional, keeps tens of millions of dollars from flowing into the local economy and threatens the jobs of thousands of county workers. County workers are forced to sign a “tobacco free” affidavit and are permitted to smoke no more than four celebratory cigars per year, or face up to $650 in fines per year or are forced to quit their jobs.
“Since county employees are only allowed to smoke four cigars a year, we figured it might as well be the biggest cigar in the world!” said Borysiewicz.
“This executive order is a misguided use of the mayor’s power and should be overturned as soon as possible. It goes way beyond the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act’s indoor smoking ban and may well be illegal because of that. Smokers and non-smokers alike should demand that the order be rescinded and that their politicians stop telling them how to live their lives,” said Borysiewicz.
He pointed out that tourists and local citizens alike can’t smoke or use any tobacco product (including smokeless tobacco) on county property – indoors or outdoors.
“That includes the Convention Center, county-owned sidewalks, lawns, parking lots, streets, public parks, boat ramps and docks and other county buildings, indoors or out,” said Borysiewicz who has been working to bring the IPCPR’s annual convention to Orlando but has hit a brick wall with the mayor’s draconian smoking ban.
“This convention alone attracts some 5,000 attendees and generates an estimated $16 million in economic impact wherever it is held. Imagine how many other conventions, meetings, visitors and tourists are deterred from coming to Orlando or any of the cities in Orange County because of this extreme ban,” he said.
Borysiewicz urged all Orange County residents to show their opposition to this executive order by calling, writing or sending emails to Mayor Crotty and Commissioners S. Scott Boyd, Fred Brummer, Linda Stewart, Bill Segal and Tiffany Moore Russell.