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Commentary: Three Cigar Wishes for 2015

13 Jan 2015

new years wishes

I have three cigar wishes for the new year. I’m not normally the optimistic type. More the way Billy Crystal described his grandfather: the kind of guy who always thought the glass was half full… of something that would kill you.

So, I can’t say I’m likely to see my wishes granted, but there’s always hope.

An exemption from FDA regulation. This, I think, would top every cigar smokers’ list. (Or it at least should.) If the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t accept—or have forced upon it—an exemption for premium, hand-rolled cigars, it might not be a death blow to the industry. But it will most certainly inflict a crippling injury and likely render it unrecognizable within a few years. Expectations are for the regulations to come no sooner than this summer, but the uncertainty could easily stretch further into the future.

Good weather for tobacco crops. As cigar blenders continue to experiment with tobacco from more and more countries, the global climate becomes increasingly significant. Though the quality of 2015 crops won’t be apparent until years in the future, a top harvest would be a boon for manufacturers and ensure more great smokes to come.

Clean up the catalogs. Why do major catalog retailers devote more and more pages to machine-made cigars and electronic cigarettes and cigars? Money, of course. But I think it’s penny-wise and pound-foolish. I’ve got nothing against machine-mades or e-cigs, but I hate to see them closely associated and pitched with premium cigars. As the industry struggles to separate itself from nicotine delivery devices, this type of advertising hurts. Why not print separate catalogs for those who want them?

What’s on your list as we head into 2015?

George E

photo credit: Flickr

Drew Estate

2 Responses to “Commentary: Three Cigar Wishes for 2015”

  1. Reggie W Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 9:11 am #

    I’d like to see more excellent cigars for $7 or less. Seems like the average price of a premium cigar keeps creeping up, and seems like a lot of these sought-after limited editions are $10 or more. I’d rather see something like the Illusione *R* Rothchildes used as a benchmark of success.

  2. Drew Friday, January 16, 2015 at 11:14 pm #

    I’d also like to see a boon in the tobacco crop this year. Having previously lived in NC, I saw first hand how positive impact the tobacco harvest had on the rural economy.

    I agree with your assessment of current tobacco related marketing. I believe the core enthusiast is not interested in such mass produced items. We enjoy a good handmade product, appreciate the craftsmanship, and prefer to spend our dollars accordingly.

    Here’s to a great 2015!