Recession Smoking

20 May 2008

I’ve been inundated with questions regarding the cigar business in today’s economy. Of course, cigars are one of those things that are considered an “extra” in many of our lifestyles; they’re not on the list of essentials like food, water and shelter (although for me, they’re somewhere between food and water).

I’ve heard people are “cutting back”, “tightening their belts” and waiting for things to “settle down”. I saw a customer last week that I haven’t seen in quite some time. When I asked where he’d been, he replied, “Ugh, I haven’t gotten out of office before 9pm for weeks.” Now, I am a believer in working hard, putting in the extra hours, and even burning the candle at both ends. But, I’m NOT a believer in not rewarding yourself for your hard work.

It’s times like these that make your “cigar time” even more important! A cigar demands time. It demands attention and relaxation. I’m not suggesting that you blow off a conference call and fire up a 2-hour double corona in the middle of the afternoon. I’m suggesting that just as you schedule lunch meetings and conference calls, schedule yourself 30 or 40 minutes for yourself to unwind, regroup, and enjoy a cigar. It’s theraputic, it’s meditational, it’s…. (gasp!) Good for you!?!?!

Here are some interesting little tidbits I found while “Google-ing” the word ‘stress’:

Up to 75 percent of all time lost in the workplace is stress-related

A 20-year study by the University of London found that unmanaged reactions to stress were a more dangerous risk factor for cancer and heart disease than either smoking or consuming high cholesterol foods.

Up to 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints.

75-90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints or disorders

Nearly half of all American workers suffer from symptoms of burnout, a disabling reaction to stress on the job.

Job stress is estimated to cost U.S. Industry $300 billion annually, as assessed by absenteeism, diminished productivity, employee turnover, direct medical, legal and insurance fees, etc

So, just try to make a little time for you. Try it earlier in the day, or during lunch. Enjoy a cigar on your drive home- your time with a cigar is your time. And in these days of elevated stress, be sure to still make time to enjoy life, and celebrate life with a great cigar.