Archive for the ‘SMoking ban in Florida dead’ Category

Benji shipping, among others, and Florida Beach Ban Toast but Not Hawaii by Frank Seltzer

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013


Back in January I told you about the Benji Menendez Majestuoso coming back out as a permanent addition to the Partagas line..  Well they are shipping now.  In talking with a rep from General Cigar, he told me that the 6” x 46 special Partagas cigar should be hitting shelves this week or next.  That is certainly good news. Since its debut in 2009 the Benji as it is called has been a spectacular cigar.  After the initial release, the line offered a toro in a bigger format, but the cigar’s namesake always maintained that the blend worked best in the 46 ring gauge.  The other cigar will be a new Prominente Benji Menendez which is bigger it will be a 7” x 49.  The cost will be just under $10 for the Majestuoso.  The Prominente will be a buck more.  The blend is Cameroon wrapper over Habano Connecticut binder with Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers.


El Rabito


There is good news and bad news.  In February at Pro Cigar I told you about a special Rabito de Cochino we were given at the festival.  You can tell the Rabito because of its pig tail head in the La Gloria Cubana line.   It was called Special Blend ADP6 on the label for the festival but now comes word that the big Rabito will be released in the next week or so.  It is 56 x 6” and if the cigar is what I think it is, it comes with an Ecuador grown Habano wrapper with Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers.  It has not been confirmed officially by General, the only thing throwing me is that the one at the festival was a 54 ring gauge.  It is the strongest La Gloria to date.   It is a step above the La Gloria Cubana Serie R, which is a great cigar by itself.  The bad news, for some of you, is that A) the cigar is very limited. B)  It will only be available in the Western United States.  The factory is only making 1,450 boxes with 20 cigars in each box.  The price will be $8.


Other new cigars

The Tobacconist Association of America is holding its convention/party this week at Casa del Campo in the Dominican Republic (this probably explains why it is tough to get ahold of people this week.)  Anyways this group is made up of big brick and mortar stores and usually gets special cigars for their shops.  According to Cigar Aficionado, there are several new releases just for the TAA members.


The Avo line from Davidoff is coming out with Movement which will cost $11 and come out in October.  The Movement will be the first box-pressed Avo.  La Flor Dominicana is showing a new Double Press Maduro for $8 and Tatuaje is coming out with the ten year, to mark its anniversary. The Tatuaje size and price has yet to be determined but word is some of the special 10 year Tats are starting to slowly leak out.

Pete said, before touring with the Jonas Brothers, that he was going to do two or three cigars to mark the tenth anniversary of Tatuaje and his 20th year in the business.  One of the cigars is a 5.375” x 48 Perfecto which Cuba calls the Britannica or Celestino Fino.  Jaime Garcia bought the molds from Spain so Pete could make it.  The other cigar is the Edmundo size, 5.375” x 52, kind of a short toro.  This is one of Pete’s favorite sizes. Both the Perfecto and Edmundo will come in his brown label blend which is also known as La Selecccion de Cazador.  He also will be coming out with the original Corona Gorda in the black label series.  Pete says all of his 10th anniversary cigars will cost $10 each.


Florida Beach Ban Dead


Some of the beach communities in Florida tried to ban smoking outside on the beaches.  Those ordinances were struck down by a court in January.  When Florida went smoke free the state set up the rules and that meant cities and towns could not put in place their own rules.  According to the Herald Tribune, the bills which would have let municipalities impose their own rules on smoking are dead for this session. But of course they won’t give up and will be working on it for next time.


Hawaii Beach Ban  Not

A new law went into effect in Honolulu, Hawaii, yesterday meant to stop smoking on the beach.  Honolulu mayor Kirk Caldwell signed the bill which expanded the city’s smoking ban to the sandy areas.  There is a catch however,

A spokesman for the city, however, said the law can only be enforced at Ala Moana Beach for now. Since the other properties are owned by the state, the Honolulu City Council needs to approve a technical amendment before the Honolulu Police Department can issue citations at the remaining locations. The change is expected to take several months. Fines run up to $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second violation within a year, and $500 for additional offenses.

The anti’s are ecstatic of course but not everyone is pleased.

Michael Zehner testified against the measure as part of the Hawaii Smokers Alliance. He is upset that people won’t be allowed to light up in certain spots.

“The fact that our civil liberties are in jeopardy. That it’s discriminatory. It makes no distinction between other types of litter items and tobacco products,” said Zehner.

This will really help tourism.


IPCPR Changing


For the past 9 years, Chris McCalla has been heading the IPCPR’s legislative and governmental issues section.   He has worked with state tobacconists to help fight smoking bans and get tax relief.  Just this year,  Chris worked hard with Arkansas tobacconists to get a 50 cent tax cap in that state.  He has been putting out fires on the state levels.  Based at the IPCPR headquarters in Georgia, his job is apparently being transferred to D.C. and apparently Chris is not moving with it. (That is convenient for state legislative work…wonder which is cheaper Georgia or DC?)  Anyway, the IPCPR advertised for Chris’s replacement on Facebook and in The Hill newspaper. My guess is he will be leaving as soon as his replacement in D.C.  is hired.  He did good work and I’l be sorry to see him go.









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