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Ms.Patricia B. McMillen
Executive Producer Donahue
30 Rockefeller PL.
Suite 827
New York 10112

Dear Ms. McMillen,

While preparing a progress report for the Board of Directors of the Retail Tobacco Dealers of American (RTDA) concerning my efforts to become a guest on the Donahue show I am filled with a feeling of shame that I've rarely experienced. Combined with the personal disappointment of not having yet succeeded at my task is a feeling of sorrow for the many families who have lost sons, fathers, brothers, sisters and mothers in the protection of our freedoms of speech and guarantees of justice and equality for all.

I am ashamed to think that access to the modern media machine of public opinion has been denied to me because I wish to bring to the fore concerns which differ from the "politically correct" views of those in control. Yet I am left with no other possible opinion since your resistance to my appearing on the Donahue show must be simply attributed to the fact that I wish to discuss the controversies surrounding Smoking and Tobacco Usage.

Clearly, over the past year I have sent you volumes of information on the subject and on my qualifications as teacher, author and advocate to be a guest. There are hundreds of thousands of jobs, millions of smokers, and billions of dollars involved with these controversies but more importantly there are now questions of equity and the loss of freedoms by individuals who face blatant discrimination and violations of their constitutional rights.

Over the past year I and my fellow retailers have collected and sent copies of over 50,000 signatures petitioning you to allow me to be on your show. It is doubtful that any single guest has gone to such extremes to gain an invitation while it is certain that no other guest has faced government sanctioned, legalized employment or housing discrimination and the resulting loss of economic and personal rights.

The absence of statistical honesty in regard to tobacco on the part of an EPA that allows the air and water to be polluted and the proclivity of a medical profession to use smoking as a scapegoat for diseases that increase in frequency despite significant decreases in the number of smokers causes me to wonder if anti tobacco zealots, besides making personal fortunes from their position, are not also using the smoker as a surrogate for racial, gender and ethnic bigotries which are otherwise prohibited by law.

The smoker has now become more than disenfranchised. He has become a tarPOST for the hidden hatreds and frustrations of a nation being led toward one tarPOST of acceptable persecution.

It is apparent by your stonewall and the climate of discriminatory legislation currently being passed across America that the time for petitions and even for lunch counter smoke ins has past. It is clear that even an economic boycott of your sponsors and other such means of social nonviolent resistance would likely fail to gain me access to your show.

If petition will not succeed in gaining access to the media then to demonstrate my solidarity with and shame for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect this countries principles and freedoms on Veteran's Day (November 1 1993) I intend to cease taking my daily dosage of health sustaining medication* which I take to control an otherwise disabling and potentially life threatening condition.

It is absurd and shameful to me that I must undertake such radical action to attempt to gain the simple right of free access that you seem to afford all other concerns. I maintain that the lack of debate on the issues I have raised over this past year in and of itself is evidence of the intentional conspiracy to deny equal access and speech to the smoker. I implore you to allow me to be on your show and to spare me the physical suffering that otherwise shall be your responsibility.

Sincerely yours,

Ira T. Lapides, Ph.D.
President G&B Tobacco Co. Inc.
RTDA Board Executive Committee
603 Skyline Dr.
Gatlinburg Tn 37738

cc. AP, ACLU, New York Times,Washington Post, Wall Street Journal,USA Today, Other Major National and Local Newspapers, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, 20/20,60 Min. McNeil-Lehrer, Rush Limbaugh, Larry King,Nightline,48 Hrs, All Competitive TV Talkshows, Time, Newsweek, US News, Readers Digest, Playboy, New Yorker,Atlantic Monthly, Gary Trudeau,Other Assorted Magazines and Individuals.

Personal PS to Mr. Donahue.

Copies of this letter will not be released to the press until October 11th in the hope that you will relent and grant me one hour of public national TV time without my having to go to such extremes. I really do not wish to be a martyr to this cause but, I am compelled to undertake this radical action for not just the controversies surrounding smoking but the more noble concerns of free speech and equal treatment. Please reconsider and host a show on these controversies.

* Rather than ceaseing his medications, Dr. Lapides undertook a hunger stike.

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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