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Centennial Hills man travels the world collecting cigar bands

March 12th, 2012 Posted in Cigars Tags:

collecting cigar bands
Centennial Hills resident John L. Curtis is passionate about a collectors’ item you might never have never heard of. And he’s OK with that.

Since the 1970s, Curtis has amassed more than 1,000 cigar bands, paper or foil loops attached to cigars to denote brand or variety. But the bands aren’t for or from your average stogie.

Cigar bands were sold as collectors’ items with historical themes. Curtis has volumes of cigar bands representing themes such as U.S. presidents , government agencies , United Nations topics , the history of flight and European history . Ream more »

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Cigar Review: Ortega Serie D No. 12

March 5th, 2012 Posted in Cigars Tags:

Ortega Cigar Company
As we reported in early February, Eddie Ortega, co-founder of EO Brands along with Erik Espinosa, announced he was leaving EO to start his own outfit called Ortega Cigars. The news came 20 months after Rocky Patel bought a 50% share in EO Brands.

The blends in the EO Brands portfolio—including 601, Cubao, Murcielago, and Mi Barrio—are all made at Don Pepin Garcia’s My Father Cigars factory in Nicaragua. So it comes as no surprise that the first line from the Ortega Cigar Company is also made by Pepin at My Father Cigars. Called “Serie D,” the blend boasts a Mexican maduro leaf from the San Andreas Valley surrounding Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. Ream more »

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World’s Biggest Cigar Festival Begins on Feb. 27

February 27th, 2012 Posted in Cigars Tags:

Biggest Cigar Festival
The 14th annual Habano Cigar “Habanos” Festival is scheduled to take place between Feb. 27 and March 2, in the Cuban capital of Havana.

The five-day event will see cigar smokers from around the world (60 countries are expected) participating in the festival, which will also pay tribute to Habanos’ flagship brands – Cohiba and Romeo y Julieta.

There are also a number of traditional activities and tours being lined up. These include tours of the best tobacco plantations, visits to leading factories, launch of new products, seminars, a class on cigar rolling and, of course, the chance to try out the newest and most exciting cigars.
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Charleston city councilman wants to allow other smoking cigar bars

February 24th, 2012 Posted in Cigars Tags:

smoking cigar bars
A Charleston city councilman wants to end the smoking monopoly enjoyed by the city’s only cigar bar, allowing such bars to operate almost anywhere as long as they meet certain criteria. Councilman Aubry Alexander wants to let cigar bars function in tandem with tobacco shops, city-wide. The move primarily is designed to allow the city’s only currently legal cigar bar, Club Habana on Meeting Street, to relocate after learning that its lease won’t be renewed.

Alexander said his suggestion is to open the door for others.
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O’Malley’s cigar tax is a smokescreen

February 21st, 2012 Posted in Cigars Tags:

youth cigar use
Martin O’Malley’s budget is a proposal to dramatically increase the tax on “other tobacco products.”

Advocates of this tax hike say it’s necessary to decrease teen cigar use, but both the facts about youth cigar use and the tax design indicate this rationale is simply a smokescreen.

Instead, the tax hike seems a clever way to manipulate concern about youth tobacco use to funnel more revenue to the state government.
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Tabacos Baez Serie SF Robusto

February 14th, 2012 Posted in Cigars Tags:

cigar taste
Short-filler, mixed-filler, “Cuban sandwich.” There are many names for cigars that don’t use 100% long-filler tobacco (tobacco that runs the entire length of the cigar), but the selling point for such cigars, no matter the name, is always the same: more bang for your buck.

In theory at least, it makes plenty of sense. Cigar factories are always trimming tobacco leaves down to the sizes they need for their premium offerings. If instead of being tossed, those trimmings are used in mixed-filler cigars, the price of the raw materials goes down even though the quality of tobacco is the same as a cigar many times the price. Ream more »

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2012: Cigar Industry Needs United Front

February 3rd, 2012 Posted in Cigars Tags:

premium cigar panel
Several tobacco categories have already come under the microscope of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the general consensus seems to be that cigars’ turn is coming. Insiders caution that the cigar industry needs to come together as a whole now, before the FDA acts.
“The politics of tobacco is the politics of diversion. We are too easy of a target. We set ourselves up for that because we never fought back,” said Glynn Loope, executive director of Cigar Rights of America (CRA). Ream more »

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Kipling’s ‘good cigar’ now in FDA gun sights

January 25th, 2012 Posted in Cigars Tags:

good cigar
Government regulators and their enablers in Congress, always on the prowl to target industries for ever-more oppressive regulations and higher taxes, are now focusing on the venerable “good cigar” eloquently extolled by Rudyard Kipling and many other connoisseurs of a “good smoke.”

Since the mid-1960s, tobacco has been one of the big-government nannies’ favorite targets. While anti-tobacconists have scored only sporadic victories in the courts over the past few decades, that is partly due to the fact that until 2009, when Congress passed the “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act,” tobacco was not lawfully regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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Proposal to raise Maryland cigar tax attacked

January 20th, 2012 Posted in Cigars Tags:

cigar tax attacked
Maryland health advocates are lauding Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposal to increase the state’s cigar tax, but critics say such an increase would create another financial burden for consumers and business owners.

Mr. O’Malley, a Democrat, proposed a state budget Wednesday that would raise the 15-percent excise tax on cigars, smokeless tobacco and other noncigarette tobacco items — a group collectively known as other tobacco products (OTP) — to 70 percent. Ream more »

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Black Market Cigars: Key to Survival for Cuban Businessmen?

January 5th, 2012 Posted in Cigars Tags:

Black Market Cigar
If you think the economy is tough in Europe and the United States, consider Cuba, where the average monthly salary is a piddling $20. True, $20 goes further in Cuba than it does in a lot of other countries, but it’s still a meager sum and not remotely enough to survive on.
With so little income from legitimate business, many businessmen are forced to turn to the black market just to keep a roof over their heads and feed their families. The worst part is that there is no solution in sight to the extreme impoverishment which fuels this underground economy. Ream more »

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