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Weekly Cigar News Sampler: Puro Sabor Details Announced, Anti-Tobacco Groups Blocked from FDA Lawsuit, and More

20 Oct 2017

As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post our sampling of cigar news and other items of interest from the week. Below is our latest, which is the 552nd in the series.

1) The seventh annual Puro Sabor Cigar Festival will be held January 22-27, according to an announcement released on Monday. The festival “is organized by the Nicaraguan Tobacco Chamber to celebrate the international recognition of the tobacco grown and cigars manufactured in Nicaragua. It also provides participants with an opportunity to learn more about the host country.” The event will begin in Granada (pictured above) and, on the third day, move to Estelí. In addition to “the chance to savor choice cigars on the farms and in the factories where they are produced,” attendees will also be entertained by gala dinners, cultural events, and panel discussions of interest to those who want to learn more about cigar production in Nicaragua.” For more information, visit NicaraguanCigarFestival.com.

2) Six anti-tobacco groups cannot intervene in the lawsuit brought by the Cigar Association of America, International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association, and Cigar Rights America against the FDA. In a 22-page order, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta found the groups “have not carried their burden to establish organizational standing or associational standing and, therefore, cannot intervene…” The six groups—the American Lung Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, and Truth Initiative Foundation—had argued “they would be forced to spend money and resources on educating the public about the harms of smoking if cigar and pipe tobacco companies aren’t required by law to issue warnings,” according to Courthouse News Service. But Judge Mehta didn’t find this to be “a legally sufficient injury-in-fact if plaintiffs were to prevail in this litigation.”

3) Cuban tobacco farmers are planning to increase planting for the coming harvest to more than 29,000 hectares, up from 28,570 in the previous season, according to the Cuban News Agency. (A hectare is nearly 2.5 acres.) The Tobacco Business Group of Cuba announced the deal this month with the island’s 18,680 producers. A Tabacuba official said that despite the increase, the worldwide demand for Cuban cigars continues to outstrip supply.

4) The FDA has announced it is pushing back compliance deadlines for tobacco regulation rules due to the hurricanes that have impacted many areas. According to the statement on the FDA’s website, ingredient listing and health document submission requirements will be pushed back six months for areas affected by natural disasters. Those areas include the Dominican Republic and numerous counties in Florida (where many cigar makers are based).

5) Inside the Industry: Gurkha is now shipping the re-release of Master Select, a line that debuted in 2001. That original five-vitola line was made by the Olivas family. “We went back to Fidel Olivas where we discovered he still had the original recipe, allowing us to re-release this immensely popular cigar,” reads a Gurkha press release. Master Select features a Habano wrapper around a Honduran binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The five sizes will retail in the $7.50-$11.50 range. Along with the Toraño family, the Fidel Olivas family owned the factories that made Toraño cigars; in 2009, these two factories—the Estelí-based Latin Cigars Nicaragua and the Danlí-based Latin Cigars Honduras—were acquired by Scandinavian Tobacco Group.

6) From the Archives: It’s amazing to see how much things can change in just a few years. Take this write-up from 2011 of Elijah Craig 18 Year. At the time, we praised the $43 bourbon for its flavors. Today, it is still excellent, but it carries a suggested retail price of $130 (a 200+% increase!), and frequently sells for even more.

7) Deal of the Week: Here are 100 deals, including cigars from Ashton, Oliva, CAO, My Father, Tatuaje, Rocky Patel, Padrón, Drew Estate, and more. Free shipping is included on any purchase. If you really want to stock up, add promo code “GBP20D” at checkout to knock $20 off an order of $150 or more.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Puro Sabor

Drew Estate

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