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Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 488

15 Jul 2016

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.


1) As we wrote last week, cigar makers, brand owners, blenders, and factories have been frantically scrambling to meet the August 8 deadline set forth by the FDA. (Cigars introduced after August 8 will have to go through the FDA approval process before they can be sold or marketed.) This rush has been personified by Steve Saka of Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust. Saka has recently announced on Facebook a handful of new blends and sizes. This week he shared details on yet another line: Umbagog, an “extreme value-priced ten-count bundle” using a Broadleaf wrapper that didn’t visually make the grade for his more expensive Broadleaf cigar, Mi Querida. The photo shared on Instagram shows a Toro Toro (6 x 52) which Saka says will sell for under $6. The cigar is named for a New Hampshire lake that’s a favorite fishing locale of Saka’s.

2) Following the original Fratello and the Fratello Boxer, Fratello Oro is set to become Omar de Frais’ third blend. “We wanted a mild to medium cigar with a creamy aftertaste that also embodies the true nature of our company, which is full-flavor cigars,” said de Frais in a press release. Oro marks the first time Fratello has worked with an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. The line’s six sizes will retail between $7 and $10. Fratello Oro is made at La Aurora in the Dominican Republic with a Cameroon binder and Nicaraguan and Dominican filler tobaccos.

3) Inside the Industry: Boveda yesterday announced a “long-term” supply agreement whereby the Minnesota-based company will be providing “private label custom printed patented two-way humidity control products” to Xikar, a cigar accessory brand. “We believe retailers and consumers will benefit significantly from this new supply agreement, and it adds an exciting new product line to Xikar’s already formidable accessories lineup,” said Tim Swail, Boveda’s executive vice president. “Our agreement with Boveda is a natural step in our pursuit to be the turn-key supplier of all cigar accessories, to all cigar retailers,” said Kurt Van Keppel, Xikar’s president.

4) From the Archives: Think you need the latest cigar gadget? Before you spend your hard-earned dollars, read this commentary from 2007: The Truth About Cigar Gadgets. Sure, gadgets can be fun, but as the article concludes, “the more gadgets enter into our smoking routines, the less we’ll concentrate on the cigar itself, which is (along with peace of mind) what cigar smoking is really all about.”

5) Deal of the Week: Drew Estate Undercrown fans will want to check out this special. Buy any Undercrown or Undercrown Shade box and you’ll get six cigars (three Undercrown Gran Toros and three Undercrown Shade Robustos) for free, plus an Undercrown Shade guillotine cutter. Use our discount code “Stogie10” to knock an additional 10% off the box price.

–The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Instagram

2 Responses to “Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 488”

  1. Stogie Guys Friday, July 15, 2016 at 10:58 am #


    Major Cigar and Tobacco Industry Associations File Suit Against FDA’s Deeming Rule

    ~ CAA, IPCPR, & CRA ask District Court of Washington D.C. for Declaratory Injunction ~

    July 15, 2016

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The three major cigar and tobacco industry associations filed suit Friday against the United States Food and Drug Administration’s “Deeming Rule.” The Cigar Association of America, International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association, and the Cigar Rights of America are asking the District Court for the District of Columbia for a declaratory injunction “vacate, set aside and enjoin the enforcement of the final rule” because it is violates numerous federal statutes as well as the federal rulemaking process.

    “Just over one month ago, our three associations pledged to work together to develop the appropriate response to the FDA’s new deeming rule. After a thorough and detailed legal review, we are challenging this unlawful regulatory action in federal court to protect the statutory and constitutional rights of our industry and its members. The fact that all three of our organizations are acting in once voice speaks to the urgency and seriousness of this action,” said Mark Pursell, CEO of the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association.

    The complaint challenges:

    – FDA’s improper application of the February 15, 2007 grandfather date to cigars and pipe tobacco, which subjects those products to more intrusive regulations than cigarettes and smokeless tobacco
    FDA’s impermissible assessment of a tax in the form of user fees, and its allocation of these user fees only to cigars and pipe tobacco and not to other newly deemed products

    – FDA’s failure to perform an adequate cost-benefit analysis to take into account the effects of the Final Rule on small businesses as is required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act
    FDA’s unjustified decision to require cigar health warning labels to be 30% of the two principal display panels of packages

    – FDA’s unlawful designation of tobacconists who blend finished pipe tobacco or create cigar samplers of finished cigars as “manufacturers,” which subjects those businesses to greater regulation than if they were “retailers”

    – FDA’s incorrect decision to regulate pipes as “components” or “parts” rather than as “accessories”

    “The FDA ignored the law to craft these expansive and sweeping regulations and cannot justify many of the arbitrary and capricious regulations it purports to enact,” said Glynn Loope, Executive Director of Cigar Rights of America. “This lawsuit is a specific and detailed challenge to the FDA’s unprecedented assertion of rulemaking authority. “We are acting in one voice to protect the legal rights of our industry at all levels, from the manufacturer, the community retail tobacconist, to the adult patrons of cigars.”

    Speaking about the lawsuit, Cigar Association of America President Craig Williamson said, “We all worked in good faith to inform and educate the FDA on the unique nature of our industry, its members and our consumers. We hoped the FDA would craft a flexible regulatory structure that accounted for the uniqueness of our industry. Instead, we got a broad, one-size-fits-all rule that fails to account for how cigars and premium cigars are manufactured, distributed, sold and consumed in the United States. The FDA exceeded its statutory authority and violated the federal rulemaking process when crafting this set of broad and sweeping regulations. This challenge asserts nine violations of federal law and rulemaking authority. We are asking the court to enjoin the enforcement of this unlawful regulatory scheme. We are confident that when the court reviews our case on its merits, we will prevail.”

  2. Mike Friday, July 15, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

    I don’t think they’ll win on all counts (the warning label rules and failure to consider option 2 won’t go far) but I think there are enough questions and demonstration of harm that a stay might be granted.