As an online cigar company, legitimacy and reputation are paramount to us at Boutique Smokes. We’ve seen quite a few similar companies come and go in just a few short years. If anyone thinks it’s easy to open a cigar company, think again. There’s a famous saying that goes something like, “if you want to become a millionaire in cigars, start by being a multi-millionaire first”.
So the A.I.T.S. stands for the Association of Independent Tobacco Specialists. An association that started in 1976 with the aim of joining like minded businesses (who dealt almost exclusively in tobacco and tobacco products and help to keep them and their shops in the High Street). It acts on behalf of all tobacco retail businesses and provides vital support, assistance and advice to its members.
The AITS is here to help. They provide support, assistance and advice to retailers regarding legislative changes and insurance requirements, and offer guidance on running and developing a tobacco business. They represent the tobacco retail sector when lobbying Government, and we provide a sounding box for their members – many of whom network with each other on a regular basis.
Until recently the association was not open to online cigar merchants, which didn’t make sense considering we are very used to online shopping. It was a pleasant surprise to learn earlier this year that purely online cigar businesses were allowed to join.
Joining this association means more than we have been accepted by the cigar trade but, it also shows to new customers we are a legitimate and trustworthy business. Having first hand access to what’s happening in the U.K. and global cigar business is also another important reason for joining.
The Association has also contributed over 40 thousand pounds to the Tobacco Trade Benevolent Association where it has 21 named pensions.
We are proud to include the AITS membership on our website.