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Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 334

10 May 2013

As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post a mixed bag of quick cigar news and other items of interest. Below is our latest Friday Sampler.

Kevin de Leon1) In the sad contest to become the least tobacco-friendly state in the U.S., California lawmakers are aiming to further burden cigar consumers and retailers with yet another proposed tax hike. The latest maneuver comes courtesy of Kevin de León (pictured), a Democrat from Los Angeles. He is pushing to increase the excise tax on premium cigars by 85-95% to fund “yet-to-be-specified health programs and causes,” according to the Sacramento Bee.

2) John Ross, a friend of, has a shocking, must-read article at The Daily Caller about how the U.S. government plans to seize a $90,000 sailboat because it was found to be carrying 33 boxes of cigars off the shore of Puerto Rico. The boat’s owner, Jeff Southworth, maintains the cigars were Dominican-made knockoffs, not actual Cubans. Yet now he is in a legal mess that may result him losing the 46-foot boat. “Unlike with criminal forfeiture, where prosecutors target assets after a criminal conviction, civil forfeiture allows prosecutors to seize Southworth’s property without proving he committed a crime,” writes Ross. “The government doesn’t even have to charge him with one.”

3) Inside the Industry: 262 Cigars announced this week that their Revere Lancero is being shipped to retailers but their Seasonal Blend, originally scheduled for launch in the fall, is being delayed until 2014. Explaining their decision to delay the Seasonal Blend, 262 explained, “In this business, you can either force the tobacco to adhere to your schedule and release a mediocre product, or you can wait for the tobacco to be right and deliver a truly premium cigar to the market. We’ve learned to choose the latter, no matter what.”

4) Around the Blogs: Robby Ras smokes the Padrón 1964 Maduro. Stogie Fresh fires up the Ashton ESG 23 Year Salute. Cigar Fan lights up El Rey de Los Habanos. Cigar Chick checks out the Illusione Epernay. Stogie Review reviews the Los Regalos Quetzal by Emilio.

5) Deal of the Week: Ernesto Perez-Carrillo may have created the original boutique cigar, but two decades later he’s still making great sticks. This deal features two each of the EPC Core Line Natural and Maduro Torpedos for just $20 ($13 off MSRP).

The Stogie Guys

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One Response to “Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 334”

  1. Mike Friday, May 10, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Despite largely starting the no-smoking-in-bars trend, California's legislature is not as anti-tobacco overall as you make it out. Lawmakers have not passed a tobacco tax hike in decades (all tax increases in the last 25 years were passed at the ballot box), and bills banning smoking in owner-operated bars and tobacco shops have never cleared both houses.

    The state has better rules for patio smoking than a lot of others now, and the weather in much of California makes that a viable option.