24 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) Not content with an indoor smoking ban that applies to businesses, restaurants, and bars, officials in Providence, Rhode Island, are considering a wide-reaching ban on outdoor smoking. “The proposed ban would apply to non-enclosed sidewalks and other pedestrian areas, including alleys, that are accessible to the public anywhere in downtown Providence. Smoking would only be allowed in private residences and vehicles. Smokers who break the law could be fined up to $250,” reports the Associated Press. “Former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino, who owns several buildings in downtown Providence, has taken credit for the proposal. Paolino said ever since the city banned smoking in parks and in Kennedy Plaza, in the center of downtown Providence, smokers have been congregating in front of his properties.” Expect public hearings in September.
2) Cigar Insider has released its 2015 Retailer Survey, a poll of over 100 shop owners who represent over 200 tobacconist locations. According to the respondents, the best-selling cigar brands are, in order, Padrón, Arturo Fuente, Ashton, Davidoff, and Romeo y Julieta. The top three sizes are robusto, toro, and grande (6 x 60). Over 70% of shops saw an increase in sales over the previous year, with 15% reporting flat sales and 13% reporting decreased sales.
3) The controversy over the HR line, originally made in partnership between Cubanacan Cigars and Hirochi Robaina, was a much-discussed topic at the IPCPR Trade Show in New Orleans. Cubanacan displayed the cigar and said it will continue making it and taking new orders. Meanwhile, Hirochi Robaina (grandson of Cuban cigar legend Alejandro Robaina), who announced just before the convention he was partnering with La Palina, has made it clear he believes he owns the trademark. One source noted to us that the Robaina-controlled trademark apparently at the center of the controversy features a number of elements (including a Chinese dragon-stylized “HR”) not found on the Cubanacan-made cigar. The outcome is hard to predict, but it isn’t hard to imagine this getting ultimately settled in court.
4) Inside the Industry: Padilla has introduced four new cigar lines: Padilla Criollo ’99, Padilla San Andrés, Padilla Criollo ’98, and Padilla La Pilar. All are made in Honduras (the first three at Raices Cubanas while La Pilar is made at Tabacalera Aguilar).
5) Deal of the Week: Smoke Inn is now shipping its Tatuaje Anarchy 2015 exclusive cigar that is part of the Microblend Series. The cigar is available in 15-count boxes ($149) and 5-packs ($50). The original Tatuaje Anarchy sold out quickly.
photo credit: Flickr