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Commentary: IPCPR Odds and Ends

23 Jul 2013



Have you been looking long and hard for that special stein of a bulldog puffing a stogie? Wondering where to buy organic rolling papers? Or want a straight razor for shaving?

If you said yes to any of these questions, as well as a host of others, the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Trade Show has a display for you.

There’s no doubt the convention is a big tent. After all, there was a Davidoff black tie party at one extreme and a cigar proudly promoted as Cheap Bastard at the other.

IPCPR13-buzz

But it’s the non-cigar pitches fighting for attention on the Las Vegas convention floor that often stood out. Here’s an introduction to some of the most notable.

One item that caught my eye was the electronic hookah. No need to fool with stuff like a pipe, charcoal, or shisa. A Tinder Box retailer told me that when her shop began carrying them, older patrons dismissed them as drug paraphernalia. Now, she added, many are customers, and she can barely keep up with demand.

I’m guessing many of you are, like me, fairly ignorant of the hookah industry. Here’s an idea of its size: Starbuzz Tobacco handed out a 112-page catalog printed on heavy, slick stock.

Of course, it’s difficult to talk about hookah without mentioning its role supporting the Trade Show model industry. For a convention with a predominantly male clientele, there’s probably nothing that attracts attention like young women who are, shall we say, lightly clothed. But the winner probably was the 8Hr Buzz Energy Shot greeter.

A standout of different nature was the Lil’ Brown Smoke Shack’s cigar mascot, reminiscent of the Milwaukee Brewers’ Racing Sausages, towering over everyone on the floor.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the above-and-beyond work at Nat Sherman’s annual welcome booth. This year, the always helpful staffers were also selling bags to raise funds for the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group, an organization helping victims of Super Storm Sandy.

Learn how you can make a donation here.

-George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate