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Battling the Bugs and Government!

nasty bug

First, the easy stuff. Battling bugs. Well, it was much easier for me than my webmaster, good old Andrew. I don’t know what I’d do without him and please don’t tell him I said that!

The fun began this past Saturday morning September 19th, not long after I published that day’s new pipe tobacco listings. An email arrived from a customer who said that when he tried using the checkout after making his purchases, the shipping fee was $80.00 instead of 8.00. He took a pass on the buy (I would have too!) I quickly sent an email and a text (almost simultaneously), to Andrew to let him know that we had a problem. All told, I received four other emails from customers who also had that same issue. They wanted to make purchases and all but one declined to do so. The other paid the fee and simply wanted a refund on his shipping over payment. I guess so.

To make a long story short, my diligent webmaster went through all the steps that professionals in his line of work should, but never found the “bug.” He conducted tests but never could get the issue to reproduce itself. So I am keeping my fingers crossed that the aforementioned bug has either gone to another website – one preferably that sells broccoli or liver & onions – to “bug” some other poor soul, or maybe somebody stepped on the pesky little thing and squished it. But of course, if that bug shows up again this coming weekend, please let me know and understand that I have not raised my shipping fees!

Moving on to a very distressing matter. Some of you may not be aware that it is illegal for any licensed tobacco Retailer / Distributor, or even a private citizen, to ship tobacco to Washington State, Utah or South Dakota. Here we are in the land of the free and the home of the brave, yet I can’t ship a product that is legal to purchase and consume to three states located in the United States of America. Although obviously worried that other misguided leaders of other states may one day follow suit, it is immediately more distressing to me that I have had loyal customers (some for many years), in all three of those states. Yet I can’t legally sell and ship pipe tobacco to them.  Let’s take a look at the current tobacco product shipping laws in those states:

Washington State – Tobacco Shipping Restrictions

Utah – Tobacco Shipping Restrictions

South Dakota – Tobacco Shipping Restrictions

I love doing what I do for a living and am proud of it. I am blessed to have so many of you supporting my work. I am proud to be an American.  I am NOT proud of the fact that three of our states have chosen to mess with what our founding fathers intended, our right to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Keep on Puffing,

Steve