Good weather is here, time to get out the smokes!

Editor's Letter Volume 19 No. 4

Summer has arrived and, for many of you, this means the opportunity to enjoy more cigars, and more frequently. One had to be a devoted cigar enthusiast to spend 45 minutes outdoors in January braving winter temperatures, especially in places where the temperatures regularly dip below zero degrees! But come early Spring, I begin refilling my humidor with some of my favorite smokes for warmer weather. And, if you are like me, you have your cigars for yard work, and your cigars for relaxing on the patio with a favorite beer, bourbon, or other refreshing drink. With this new season, I am also excited to join the team at Smoke Magazine as editor. While I am the new kid on the block with Lockwood Publications, I have worked as a writer, photographer and editor covering the premium tobacco industry since 1992. While most of my work has been on the manufacturing and retail sides of the business, I have always enjoyed interacting with my fellow cigar smokers at cigar events, during visits to retailers, and in my local shops here in North Carolina, where I call home. I am excited about this new opportunity to get involved with the consumer end of the hobby. And I am looking forward to working with the folks at Lockwood. I have known these folks for some 20 years. In fact, we were friendly competitors with Lockwood’s Smokeshop Magazine during my tenure at Tobacconist magazine. It seemed we were always at the same industry functions and covering the same things of importance to the premium tobacco industry—but we were all working toward one goal, the growth of the manufacturing and retail branches, and thus, better products and service for you, the consumers. With my addition to the staff, Robert Lockwood is looking forward to continuing to serve the consumer market with Smoke Magazine. In coming issues, we will be looking to hear from you cigar smokers and we will be making some changes to the magazine and bumping up our social media presence. Lockwood’s long-time veteran, Ted Hoyt, will continue as editorial director, and I will be leaning on him as I learn the ropes of this publication. I have no doubt that I will learn a lot from Ted’s years of experience covering what is important to consumers. We want to hear from you. We want to give you the opportunity to share your love of cigars with fellow cigar smokers. If you and your golf buddies regularly enjoy a stogie and a brew at the 19th hole, snap some photos and send them in with some information. If one of your cigar pals is getting married this summer, send us a photo of your group enjoying a celebratory cigar. And, certainly, if your favorite cigar shop is hosting a tasting event, encourage them to take some photos and send them to us. You never know when you might open a future issue of Smoke Magazine, and see some familiar faces! Also, let us know what you enjoy about the magazine and what you would like to see in coming issues. Would you like to learn more about other tobacco trends, like hookahs, pipes and pipe tobaccos, or vaping? Please let us know what your non-tobacco interests may be. Do you restore vintage cars, collect knives or guns, enjoy the resurgence of vinyl music, or roast your own coffee beans or brew your own beer? Let’s work together to make this OUR favorite cigar magazine for cigar smokers. Well, my fingers are getting a bit warm as this cigar is near its end. And my bourbon glass is empty. So, I will close for now. Happy smoking and enjoy your summer. Remember to send in your photos, stories and ideas. My email address is: phil@lockwoodpublications.com.
––Peace, Phil Bowling.

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Editor's Letter Volume 19 No. 4