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Stogie News: 75th Annual RTDA Trade Show Highlights

8 Aug 2007

For three-quarters of a century, the Retail Tobacco Dealers of America (RTDA) have been hosting what they call “most important event of the year for tobacconists”: the RTDA Trade Show. Closed to the general public, the five-day gathering is an opportunity for manufacturers to unveil new stogies and stogie-related accessories.

The 2007 trade show, featuring over 300 exhibitors in more than 1,300 booths, wraps up today. So, we thought it appropriate to bring you some of this week’s highlights from the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

RTDA → IPCPR

Writing to you from Washington, I’m no stranger to the endless alphabet soup of bloated government bureaucracies. And thanks to the RTDA board of directors, now I’ve got a new acronym to memorize: IPCPR. Due in part to the increasingly hostile anti-tobacco zealots and their attempts to stop adults from choosing to smoke, the RTDA announced on Saturday it will change its name to the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association. Clearly, the move is intended to distance the organization from the cigarette industry, now a lightning rod for meddling do-gooders.

New Cigars Galore

Last Tuesday I provided you with a short rundown of several new cigars that were being introduced. Despite Congress’ attempts to raise federal taxes on premium cigars by as much as 20,000 percent, the trade show, as expected, was a showcase of new stogies. Among the new releases were lines of Scarface cigars from Universal Studios, Playboy by Don Diego stogies that proudly display the iconic bunny logo, and El Tiante 23 Series cigars from former Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant. Rocky Patel’s got a new stick called Decade, and Alec Bradley introduced a box-pressed Maxx called The Vice. La Aurora is also shaking up its 1495 Series by offering the 1945 robusto in your choice of five – count ‘em, five – different wrappers.

Smoking Ban Looms

The Space City was an interesting choice for this year’s trade show, especially when you consider that it will be marred by a senseless smoking ban starting September 1. While the Houston Chronicle reports the law will include an exemption for “enclosed meeting areas within convention centers, hotels, motels, and other meeting facilities,” bestowing the trade show’s positive economic fallout on the city might send lawmakers in other cities the wrong message. Then again, in today’s sorry day and age, I suppose beggars can’t be choosers.

Patrick A

Tags: cigars

Drew Estate

3 Responses to “Stogie News: 75th Annual RTDA Trade Show Highlights”

  1. Cigar Jack Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 5:08 am #

    The show was pretty good even if it was a bit smaller than normal. Most of the cigars I tried were decent cigars, granted after the first three they all started to taste the same, but I had a few that really stuck out as good cigars. I just got back in last night and will be preparing my post on it today.

  2. Audrey Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 6:20 am #

    Very cool wrap-up of RTDA news (or should I say IPCPR news?).

    Too bad they don't make this open to the general public; I'd love to try all those new cigars before they become available at B&Ms…

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