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A Smoke for Fighters

Sometimes a cigar is just a symbol of libertarian rebellion and capitalist opportunism.

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Kansas City anti-smoking activists have been pushing for years to get tobacco products banned in your favorite bars and restaurants, but their zeal has also inspired one local business to help smokers fight back while they puff.

Xikar Inc., a Kansas City-based cigar cutter and accessories producer, will launch a new line of cigars in November called Defiance. Five percent of all wholesale sales of the cigars will be donated to state coalitions that fight taxation and regulation of your favorite phallic symbols.

"State-level organizations, owned by retailers, have been effective in the fight against anti-tobacco legislation. Even getting $10,000 or $20,000 donated can really make a difference with letter campaigns and basic communication," says Scott Almsberger, Xikar's vice president. "There are some cigar shops you can't even smoke in, and many people think it's just swung too far."

Almsberger describes the Defiance brand as an after-breakfast cigar, if you're the kind of person who smokes five a day, or an after-dinner cigar if you smoke one a week.

Defiance cigars will feature a wrapper adorned with the American flag and text from the Declaration of Independence. This bit of nationalism will be brought to you by the fine folks of Nicaragua, where the cigar will be made from Nicaraguan and Honduran tobacco.

And best of all, instead of small, medium, large and so on, they'll have names to remind you how radical you are for burning one: the Guardian, the Sentry, the Instigator and the Renegade. We feel badass just thinking about it.

Almsberger didn't specify which state-level organizations would receive the proceeds. But he did say that deals had been agreed on.

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