31 Jul 2015
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) While any efforts to repeal the Cuban embargo – which includes a ban on the import and sale of Cuban cigars except for a small allowance for licensed visitors to Cuba – will face stiff resistance in Congress two developments this week show growing support for further changes in Cuban-American relations. In Congress Republican Representative Tom Emmer (pictured) of Minnesota introduced a bill to end the long standing embargo. Emmer cited a recent trip to Cuba for his position and stated “This isn’t about the Cuban government — it’s about people on the street looking for more opportunity and to improve their quality of life.” Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, leading Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also publicly called for ending the embargo.
2) The controversial Obamacare legislation makes it illegal for health insurance companies to charge individuals different prices based on health risks except for tobacco users who can be charged 50% more. For cigarette smokers, who tend to have lower incomes, that’s enough to threaten the affordability of health insurance. But there is some news that could eliminate that issue for many cigar smokers . As Jacob Grier explains, an entry to the Federal Register about interpretation of the Obamacare legislation defines “tobacco use” as use of tobacco on average of four or more times per week within no longer than the past six months, which will exempt the vast majority of cigar smokers who smoke fewer than four days a week from the discriminatory higher premiums.
3) Inside the Industry: At the recent trade show Ashton cigars displayed a new limited release blend to the San Cristobal line called the San Cristobal Ovation. Ovation comes in one size and is made at the My Father factory with a blend featuring a San Andrés Oscuro wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler.
4) Deal of the Week: Camacho fans should check out this Meet Your Maker Camacho sampler. Just $32 (free shipping included) gets you a selection of six Camacho cigars including the new American Barrel Aged blend.
photo credit: Congress