Tobacconist University
Code of Ethics & Standards

Code of Ethics & Standards: Certified Retail Tobacconist

1. Obey and enforce all local, state and federal laws regarding tobacco age/use restrictions.

2. Successful Completion of the Academic Curriculum (Read More)

Completion of Academic Curriculum: Including TOBACCO, ACCOUTREMENTS, TASTE, & SERVICE COLLEGE, and the Final Exam. CRT candidates must score at least 90% on the Final Exam to earn TU Certification. In addition, candidates should have a minimum of 500 hours of retail tobacconist work experience.

3. Commitment to Perpetual Product Education (Read More)

Commitment to Perpetual Product Education: In the pursuit of excellence, learning never ends. TU Certified Tobacconists are required to stay abreast of tobacco technology and product developments by reading relevant trade journals, catalogs, newsletters, and receiving and reading TU updates.

4. Customer Commitment (Read More)

Tobacconist's Credo: "The duty of every Tobacconist is to be your guide through the myriad of tobacco products and brands that exist throughout the world today. Our job is to share our knowledge and opinions with you so that you can make informed decisions when choosing cigars, pipes, Tobaccos, and related accoutrements. Our highest priority is to make your smoking experience one of complete satisfaction and pure relaxation."

Duty: Much is expected of Tobacconists, since they have the distinct privilege of combing their work with their passions. Therefore, it is the duty of every Tobacconist to serve customers as they themselves would like to be served, or better.

Aspiration: A professional Tobacconist must possess extraordinary knowledge and character to earn the respect of a discerning clientele. Credibility is earned daily, one well-served customer at a time. In that process, one of a Tobacconist’s greatest accomplishments is guiding a customer to a new experience, sensation, or a higher level of appreciation.

Opening the doors of discovery and pleasure for our customers, and exceeding their expectations, is the ultimate Tobacconist aspiration.

Individual Attention: TU standards reflect a commitment to honor every customer with individual and thoughtful attention. Great Tobacconists must avoid complacency and remember that we are custodians of traditions and products which deserve our most diligent efforts. Every customer has a different budget, need, taste, and/or desire. People’s vocabulary, disposition, and expressiveness will also vary greatly. Professional Tobacconists must strive to listen and understand their customer to meet or exceed their expectations. There is no generic approach to service that will compensate for individual attention. Ultimately, the retail customer is the industry’s greatest priority: his/her satisfaction is our only worthy ambition.

Ambience: TU Certified Tobacconists are committed to maintaining our facilities to the highest standards possible. Cleanliness, organization, merchandising, and attention to detail are all important factors in providing the proper environment to sell and consume our products.

Courtesy & Kindness: Certainly, Courtesy & Kindness are good values to live by, but they are also the foundation of TU Certified Tobacconist values. Tobacco shops can seem intimidating or inclusive to the uninitiated, so it is imperative to overtly express our values with everything from body language to "Hello", "Please", "Thank You", and even free product samples. Common courtesy is not so common anymore, but TU Certified Tobacconists are unremittingly courteous and kind.

Professionalism: Tobacconists are the final point of contact for luxury Tobacco products, before they end up in the hands of loving consumers. All of the traditions, values, and heartfelt contributions of cigar makers, artists, and craftsmen are curated by professional tobacconists. It is the duty of every TU Certified Tobacconist to consummate the relationship with the consumer with professionalism and integrity.

5. Trust (Read More)

Trust: Trust is the cornerstone of Tobacconist credibility. Trust is earned through honest and diligent efforts, not once, but consistently, over long periods of time. In general, consumers are wary of advice, opinions, and salespeople. Tobacconists earn the trust of consumers one cigar or pipe recommendation at a time. Eventually, trust will emerge and be the irrevocable glue that bonds a customer to their Tobacconist.

Respect & Fairness: Treat colleagues, vendors, and customers with respect, fairness, and good faith. Advocate values and conditions that safeguard the rights and welfare of all consumers to ensure that Tobacconist honor is always upheld.

6. Merchandise All Luxury Tobacco Products (Read More)

Luxury tobacco merchandising is far more challenging than simply placing products on a shelf. Tobacconist merchandising is the physical and visual language with which our products communicate with the customer. It typically starts years before, in a foreign country, with a manufacturer’s intricate and proprietary packaging, and culminates in the retail humidor.

The attention to packaging and presentation in the luxury tobacco industry is unparalleled. So, it is the natural conclusion that Tobacconists must reinforce and continue the honors already bestowed upon the products we sell.

A Certified Retail Tobacconist must always be concerned with cigar band facing, regular quality inspections, straightening, gentle handling, and providing proper temperature and humidity. In addition, every product in a store must have a price affixed to it, preferably in a way that does not inhibit it’s intended or optimal appearance.

7. Duty to package and protect all products for customers (Read More)

At the moment of consummation, when a consumer takes possession of a well conditioned cigar, pipe, tobacco, or accoutrement from a professional Tobacconist, they must be confident that the products have been properly maintained. Any faltering of responsibility along the chain of possession can spoil a luxury tobacco product and damage the reputation of a brand. Even worse, improper handling of luxury tobacco can ruin the Tobacconist’s relationship with their customer.

The final duty of a Certified Retail Tobacconist is to provide their customer with the requisite instruments of consumption; a resealable plastic bag for protection, wood matches for combustion, and the offer of a cut. Every customer deserves the necessary tools to care for, and preserve, the products they purchased. For a Tobacconist, this is the last demonstration of professionalism before their stewardship ends.

8. Commitment to be a passionate and educated ambassador (Read More)

Finally, you are committed to be the most professional and educated ambassador for this venerable industry and its traditions.

Tobacconist Tip
Whether using a torch, traditional flame, or burner lighter, the visible flame does not need to directly touch the tobacco. In fact, the heat from the flame will combust the tobacco when you draw on the cigar.


Certfied Consumer Tobacconist (CCT)
Certified Retail Tobacconist (CRT)
Certified Salesforce Tobacconist (CST)
Certified Master Tobacconist (CMT)
Certified Cigar Sommelier Tobacconist (CCST)

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