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By (NAME DELETED) - Staff Writer
Smokers' civil rights are violated every day, according to one Gatlinburg businessman, and he would like a chance to debate the issue with Phil Donahue.

Dr. Ira T. Lapides, owner of the Gatlin-Burlier Tobacconist in Gatlinburg, wrote a letter to Donahue in February asking the talk show host to do a show on smokers' rights.

"I think these issues have to be heard," Lapides said. "Smokers face housing discrimination, employment discrimination..the federal government wouldn't stand for that kind of treatment of a black person, or a woman, or an AIDS victim."

Donahue never responded to the letter Lapides sent in February, so now the smokers' rights activist is turning up the heat a little bit.

Lapides has started a petition asking Donahue again to do a smokers' rights show, and will take the idea to the Retail Tobacco dealers of America national convention in Chicago Aug. 26. Lapides is a member of the RTDA Board of Directors and of the association's executive committee.

Lapides will send the petition and his request to Donahue in the form of a giant Christmas card, since it will probably be close to December when the card is mailed, he said.

"I don't know of any other group of 28 million that is as quiet as the smoker is," Lapides said. "They really have been subdued as an individual."

Lapides, who once smoked cigarettes, then a pipe and now does not smoke at all, said smokers have not only been banished to smaller and smaller areas, they suffer intrusions even there, he said.

"The issue is that the smoker is not being left alone in the areas that have been assigned to him,' Lapides said. "What we're saying is, an individual in a smoking area ought to be left alone. Understandably, (in some instances) you cannot smoke at work. That isn't the end of it. The end of it is the individual won't be hired if he smokes in his own home, or if he smokes in his car on the way home."

Lapides said smokers do not receive the same understanding and concern the drug addict or alcoholic is apt to POST.

"Another issue is the issue of compassion--if the government is willing to say the smoker is more addicted to the cigarette than the heroin addict is to heroin, yet not provide (rehabilitation) -- it's highly unfair, it really is."

Those who smoke are often chastised by nonsmokers who fear they will be adversely affected by second-hand smoke, Lapides said, but "as far as I know, nobody has died from second-hand smoke. Plenty of people right here in this county have died from second-hand drinking."

Making cigarettes cost more than lower income smokers can afford by establishing the so called "sin tax" levied against alcohol and tobacco products will not POST rid of smokers, Lapides said.

"The only thing that's going to happen is that the smoker is not going to spend money on something else. You're going to heightening the neglect of children, heightening hunger, because people are going to smoke," Lapides said.

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95% of our orders are shipped the day they are received.

Area information for Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and the Great Smoky Mountains.   Make it a perfect day and enjoy a meal at one of our Gatlinburg restaurants.
  • You MUST be at least 18 years of age to purchase tobacco products in Tennessee!
  • We do not sell tobacco products in Maine or Arizona.
  • All Packages are shipped US Post Office unless you specify UPS.
  • All Customers will be Charged for Shipping & Return Postage on any Refused or Returned package(s).
  • International Customers: You are to check with your local customs & duty officials to see if there are additional duties or fees required, or if there are prohibitions on tobacco or amounts of tobacco which can be shipped to your country.
  • Charge card customers may order by calling
  • To check on an order call 865-436-4412, 9am-3pm Eastern Time Monday-Friday.
  • Visit our showroom on D-Level of the Mountain Mall, on the corner of Parkway and River Road in Gatlinburg!
  • We are open 7 days a week.
  • Prices subject to change without prior notice.
  • No Cash Refunds. Merchandise credit ONLY on returns.
  • We DO NOT ship cigarettes.
The Gatlin-Burlier
603 Skyline Dr.
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
24hr Fax: 1-865-430-7476

© 2009 Gatlinburlier, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.


As with any avalanche of lemons into one's life, survivors attempt to make lemonade and so it is with the Gatlinburlier Tobacconist. G&B Tobaccos new licensing and stature as a Tobacco Manufacturer now presents many opportunities for our loyal long-time customers. Not only does this new status make the Gatlinburlier the only truly legal tobacco retailer in the country, but it opens opportunities for us to expand our lines, since our access to specialty tobaccos has been vastly expanded. We plan to offer special deals on our new products as we produce new blends and attempt to improve some of our existing blends.

Tobacco being a natural product varies in characteristics year to year. It takes constant adjusting to keep blends consistent in taste, color, and burning qualities. In many cases blenders keep several years worth of tobaccos on hand so as to phase out one years product while phasing in another years crop to minimize the changes in the qualities of the blends. Over the 37 years that we have blended tobaccos some of our suppliers have left the business and other tobacco components have changed so much that we think we need to make adjustments to a few of our blends.

Gatlin-Burley our Americanized English once contained a very special Green River Valley tobacco which became unavailable. Given our new contacts within the industry we now have access to this rare tobacco, and have re blended this great blend, with just a touch of Latakia to meet its original qualities.

Gatlin-Burley was a blend created to keep the smoker's interest and encourage the maturation of the smoker's own tastes. Thirty-seven years ago it was our flag ship. It was an Americanized English that seemed to change taste as the smoker's pallet change over the course of one day and over the course of many weeks.

As a special short term offer we will send you a two ounce bag of this fabulous rebirth of greatness for only $5.95.

This extraordinary blend mixes fabulously with our Cades Cove Cavendish and our Chimney Smoke to make it even more tame for the American taste. For those looking to find a slightly more mature taste than is offered by our "natural aromatics" - Gatlin-Burley is the tobacco blend they are seeking, but "Made Even Better®".

2oz for only $5.95