Proud To Be A Member

The TAA – What It Means for You

You’re probably a member of something – a civic or social club, or maybe a shopping membership like Amazon Prime, Sam’s Club, or Costco.  You pay your membership dues or fees and get access to benefits and value that are exclusive to members only.  If you’re a cigar customer at Smoke Rings or Cigar Box you have access to the benefits of membership of the TAA (Tobacconist Association of America) – and there are no fees – just by shopping with us, the benefits are part of the Cigar Box experience.  Membership is limited – now at 80 nationwide – only to local brick and mortar shops located in towns and communities across America.


The TAA was formed in 1968 by seven retail tobacco shops.  Their primary purposes were to establish a forum for members to share information and ideas; to create standards for professionalism, training, and knowledge in the industry; and to function as a buying group that could work with major cigar brands to the benefit of customers.  TAA members are established in their communities and comply with all state and local laws – creating a level of trust in the business standards expected of TAA stores.  Members must meet the necessary criteria in order to join, with a retailer able to apply only when another member withdraws – keeping the number of members fixed.  

The centerpiece event of the TAA is the annual convention.  Here members are able to network with other TAA members and buy specially crafted TAA cigars made available only to members by some of the best known brands – including Tatuaje, Ashton, Drew Estate, Padron, La Flor Dominicana, My Father and others.

Membership in the TAA is part of the Cigar Box/Smoke Rings experience.  Seeing the TAA emblem in a cigar shop means that this brick and mortar store is not only part of the fabric of the community, but also part of a cigar community with only 80 shops across the country.  Its owners live and work locally, they hire people locally, and they’re committed to their customers and employees.  The impact of businesses in small towns and cities is huge!

According to research conducted by the Advocates for Independent Businesses trade group:

  • For every $10 million in sales, independent retailers create 47 jobs (compared to 19 jobs national chains create for every $10 million in sales)
  • Local retailers pay state and local property taxes that national chains often do not as they receive tax breaks and know how to avoid them
  • Being headquartered in local communities means that because of the people small businesses employ – and the goods & services they buy – about half of every dollar in sales stays local – not sent to national headquarters out of state for national ad campaigns or corporate earnings to be invested elsewhere

So we’re truly proud to live, work, and contribute to the local economy by offering the best products and service we can.  That’s been our brand since 1996 – a brand that’s a natural fit for our partnership with the TAA – and one more way we bring ‘Big World Taste to Your Small Town Shop’!!

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