AF Capital Hub Socratic Dinner - Where There's Smoke, There's Government... - America's Future

AF Capital Hub Socratic Dinner – Where There’s Smoke, There’s Government…

August 25, 2021 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The Fund for American Studies

1706 New Hampshire Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20009

America’s tobacco laws have always ebbed and flowed. From pipe tobacco to cigars, cigarettes to vaping, there is a lot of history when it comes to how our country and its entrepreneurs have navigated these legislations.

It’s time to dive into smoking policy in the Capital Hub region (which includes, DC, MD, VA, PA, and WV) to figure out what’s working, what isn’t, and how we may try to change things for the better. After all, a good cigar can bring anyone together!

Join the AF-Capital Hub with experts Joshua Habursky of the Premium Cigar Association and Paul Blair of Turning Point Brands

This Socratic discussion-style dinner will take place in person at The Fund for American Studies. The night will kick off with a time to network and then flow into a seated dinner where we will open the floor to discussion on the policies that dictate how we all are allowed to indulge. We will have a few subject matter experts in the room to help guide the discussion and provide helpful insights into the landscape and history of tobacco policy.


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.


The Fund for American Studies

1706 New Hampshire Avenue NW Washington, DC 20009

All AF Hub members are able to attend free. Please email Lydia to request your complimentary ticket at [email protected]org. We encourage AF Hub members to bring a guest with a differing perspective to participate in our lively discussion. General admission tickets are available for $40. Dinner and drinks are included in ticket price.

For questions, contact [email protected]. To learn more about AF membership and become a Hub member, click here. We look forward to seeing you!



Paul Blair is the Vice President of Government Affairs of Turning Point Brands (NYSE: TPB), a company whose portfolio of products includes smokeless tobacco, smoking accessories, small cigars, and vapor products. Prior to joining TPB in 2020, he served as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Americans for Tax Reform, a nonprofit taxpayer advocacy organization based in Washington D.C. where he worked for nearly a decade. During his time at ATR, he handled the organization’s federal, state, and local lobbying and coalitions work on tobacco issues, including excise taxes, product bans, and regulatory reform. At ATR he managed a number of high-profile initiatives such as the 2016 Right to Vape Tour and the successful 2019 “We Vape, We Vote” campaign against a federal flavored vaping ban. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, National Association of Tobacco Outlets, the Coalition of Smoke-Free Choices, and is a member of the Food and Drug Law Institute and the Cigar Association of America. You can follow him on Twitter @gopaulblair

Joshua Habursky is the Head of Government Affairs at the Premium Cigar Association running both state and federal lobbying operations for the trade group. Josh is also an Adjunct Professor at the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University and frequently researches and writes on topics related to lobbying, government relations, advocacy, and grassroots for publications such as Campaigns & Elections where he serves as the Contributing Editor. Josh received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Washington & Jefferson College, a Master of Arts in American Government from Georgetown University, a Certificate in Business and Political Economy from the London School of Economics, and a Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Habursky is also a partner and owner of a restaurant group that operates businesses in Northern Virginia and the originator of the “El Politico” premium cigar in partnership with the Ace Prime Pichardo Factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.

What is a Socratic Dinner?

Socratic Dinners provide guests an opportunity to connect and dissect important life topics with others of different backgrounds, belief systems, and experiences. Together we can better understand our world and seek out better solutions to the problems that plague it from sound policy to activism to volunteerism. As Socrates said, “The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.” Let’s learn about each other so that we may pursue a common good by breaking bread and talking with one another.