Archive for the ‘Smoking science’ Category

Joys of Blogging, New Cigars and Science Doesn’t Matter by Frank Seltzer

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

You may have noticed a lack of posts recently.  It was not for trying but instead word press decided to be uncooperative.  For about two weeks, none of us could get in.  Oh there were brief moments when it teased us and gae us some hope, but then it went right back to being ornery.  You probably noticed it as well when the freaking blog wouldn’t even load.  Ain’t computers great?


La Gloria Nicaragua

Meanwhile, last time I posted,  I mentioned the release of La Gloria Cubana’s newest and first Nicaraguan cigar, the Serie R Black.  Well I wasn’t sure when they were coming out and guess what?  They are already here.  Actualy have been for a couple of weeks. You know where you can find them.


New Casa de Garcia

Casa de Garcia is a value brand that comes out of Altadis USA.  It is a premium cigar with a not so premium price.  The cigar actually was developed about 3 years ago in response to the SCHIP and state taxes.  The goal was to make a tasty smoke at a great value.  The result was the Casa de Garcia blends.  The newest one if the Nicaraguan blend which uses a dark Nicaraguan wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and Broadleaf, Nicaraguan and Columbian fillers.  The cigars come in 4 sizes: Corona at 44 x 5.5”; Robusto at  50 x 4.75” ; Toro at 50 x 5.5” and Churchill at 50 x 6.5”.  The retail price is under $2 per cigar.  Of course you can get them for less.

Chapter Two

We are starting to get close to the annual industry trade show and word about new cigars are beginning to circulate.  Nestor Miranda of Miami Cigar is adding to his Casa Miranda line with Chapter 2.  The cigar is being made by the Garcia family at My Father Cigars in Esteli.

The cigar is being billed as a medium bodied one and follows the original Casa Miranda which is made at El Titan de Bronze in Miami.  Chapter 2 used a dark Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper  with a   Nicaraguan binder and fillers from Brazil,  Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.  It will come in 4 sizes, 4.5” x 50 Robusto for $6.35, a 6” x 46 Corona Gorda for $7, a 5.5” x 54 Toro for $7.60 and a 6” x 60 Gran Toro for 8 bucks.  The cigars will debut at the trade show next month.


Starbucks no Smokes

Many people actually like Starbucks coffee.  I never have to me it is bitter.  But different tastes….for years, where it has been permitted, smokers could order their lattes and then go outside to have a cigar or cigarette.  Now that had ended.  Starbucks has decided that local laws are not enough and the company has banned smoking around their facilities starting last weekend.

 The Seattle-based chain says it will start banning smoking within 25 feet of its stores, beginning [last] Saturday, where permitted by its leases. Starbucks spokeswoman Jaime Lynn Riley says the intent is to expand the indoor no-smoking policy to the outdoor seating areas.

“If there were any concerns, we would hope to resolve it amicably.” Riley said, referring to a customer who might be smoking within the restricted area.

 Right because as we know non smokers are rational people.


Science Begone

Ok, we really know smoke Nazis are morons.  And the whole anti-smoking movement is based upon a credo that any kind of smoking is evil.  So you really had to know this was coming as stupid and illogical as it is..

In France, they are going to ban using electronic cigarettes and cigars in public places. Ok you COULD make an argument that smoking in public is bad (you’d be wrong to a great extent but you could make that argument).  But how in the hell can you say that e-cigs or e-cigars (yes there are e-cigars…I have tried one and it was terrible but fun to annoy some people) that do not burn nor contain tobacco are a problem???

The government says more study is needed on the health effects of the electronic devices.  (They will try to find something,)  But here is the real reason according to health minister Marisol Touraine:

Another worry they cite is that the electronic alternative will increase the general temptation to smoke, including enticing those who have quit to start again, or that smokers may use them alongside rather than instead of regular cigarettes.

“This is no ordinary product because it encourages mimicking and could promote taking up smoking,” said Touraine, who announced her plans at a news conference.

 According to Dr. Michael Siegel, ideology trumps science.  He quotes an article that says the Italian health ministry is recommending a ban on the e-cigs as well after France made its decision.  They cited Touraine’s comment that “Smoking an e-cigarette is smoking.”

Dr. Siegel lost it.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

 The truth is: “Smoking an e-cigarette is a step towards quitting smoking.”

 This is the bare fact that so few in the anti-smoking movement seem to appreciate.

 The importance of this story is that it illustrates precisely what is wrong with today’s anti-smoking movement. Instead of being driven by science, as it was in the past, it is now being driven by ideology. This ideology is so skewed that using a non-tobacco device resembling a pen that vaporizes a solution of nicotine and propylene glycol without any combustion or smoke production is considered equivalent to cigarette smoking.

 The upshot of this is that the anti-smoking movement is doing everything in its power to protect cigarette sales from the threat of e-cigarettes. Even the cigarette companies are hoping to shift some of the cigarette market toward e-cigarettes. Not so with the anti-smoking groups. And that’s a tragedy.


You know it is bad when a tobacco control advocate like Dr. Siegel thinks the anti’s are nuts.



CAO Cruisin and a Bad Week for Bloomberg by Frank Seltzer

Friday, March 15th, 2013


Last week, CAO sent a cigar lover on a cruise with Kid Rock for his annual “Chillin’ The Most” cruise. The contest was part of the kick off for the CAO Concert line of cigars. Justin Harris of Nashville won the cruise which included a CAO branded cigar lounge aboart the Norweigian Pearl cruise ship.  CAO blender Rick Rodriguez also was on board.  Said Ed McKenna the senior brand manager for CAO,

“Kid Rock’s ‘Chillin’ The Most’ is the ultimate expression of our brand.  It’s also a fitting way to celebrate the success of CAO Concert, which gives a nod to our rock n roll roots.”

Justin cruised the Bahanas getting back to port, and most likely reality, on Sunday.


Bloomie Loses

Bloomie (from Huff Post)

You may have already heard about part of this but this has been was a bad week for the nation’s top nanny.  Bloomie boy got shellacked in court and in a science paper.  First up,  a state judge stopped Bloomberg’s ban on 16 ounce sodas.  Yippee. The decision is a huge blow to the mayor’s efforts to control possibly every second of New Yorker’s lives and it came one day before the ban was to go into effect.   Said the judge, New York is “enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations”.  Why? Because he further said, “The Rule is nevertheless fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences…the loopholes in this Rule effectively defeat the stated purpose.”


Gee a Bloomie health department rule that is arbitrary?  Who would have thunk it.  The NYC ban on big sodas excluded some places ( 7-Elevens ) and some drinks with more sugar ( milk shakes, lattes, frozen coffees etc.).  Oh and for all its good sounding BS, the rule never did address free refills.  The rule was strictly a nanny PR stunt.


The judge further said that the health board was basically trying to have virtually limitless authority.  The city’s arguments in favor of the soda cap would leave the board’s “authority to define, create, mandate and enforce limited only by its own imagination.”  That was the Mayor’s idea.  Of course the city wll appeal this common sense ruling most likely the challenge will continue long after Bloomberg is gone.


Science Fact

But if that wasn’t bad enough for Bloomie, the Lancet published a study this week showing that ancient mummies had clogged arteries….you know arteries we have been told that are clogged by fast food, sugary drinks and smoking.  Oh wait…ANCIENT mummies…4,000 years ago, way before all that stuff was invented.  Bloomie’s whole raison d’etat just went up in …hehehe…smoke:


Researchers say that suggests heart disease may be more a natural part of human aging rather than being directly tied to contemporary risk factors like smoking, eating fatty foods and not exercising.


Wait what?  SMOKING IS NOT the cause? Maybe it is time to look to something else rather than tobacco!


“Heart disease has been stalking mankind for over 4,000 years all over the globe,” said Dr. Randall Thompson, a cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City and the paper’s lead author.


Thompson said he was surprised to see hardened arteries even in people like the ancient Aleutians who were presumed to have a healthy lifestyle as hunter-gatherers.


“I think it’s fair to say people should feel less guilty about getting heart disease in modern times,” he said. “We may have oversold the idea that a healthy lifestyle can completely eliminate your risk.”


Mayor Bloomberg….you listening?   (Of course not.)

The Syndicate and Rare is Back by Frank Seltzer

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013


When you hear Syndicate, you often think of an old Cagney or Edward G. Robinson movie…maybe that is why the newest cigar group is called Sindicato, which is an amalgamation of top cigar retailers, including a former president of the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers.   Sindicato Cigar Group LLC was officially lanched on January 16th, but this past week, the group announced its new president (possibly the worst kept secret in the business).   Jim Colucci was named as the presdent and CEO of the company.

Colucci previously was the executive v.p. of sales and marketing for Altadis USA and was the mover behind such brands as Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real, Warlock, Frank Llaneza 1961 and Siglo among others.  The goal of Sindicato is to create new national brand cigars specifically for the participating retailers. According to Cigar Aficionado, the group was created by Abe Dabaneh who has an internet radio show kiss my ash and owns the Smoke Inn chain in South Florida; Jeff Borysiewicz, founder of Corona Cigar in Orlando; Gary Pesh, president of Old Virginia Tobacco company and former IPCPR president; Rob Roth of Nice Ash Cigars and Dan Jenuwine from Quality Fresh Cigars.


Colucci left Altadis in July 2011 and had a non-compete.  At last year’s IPCPR show, Colucci (after his non-compete was up)was hinting about getting back into the business and even gave me a test blend to check out.  The company plans to release their cigars at this year’s IPCPR trade show in Vegas.

Rare is Back

Punch Rare Corojo Perfecto

Punch Rare Corojo is back. Every year, General Cigar releases a batch of the cigars and this year, in addition to the usual 7 sizes, there is a new Perfecto at 7” x 48. The Punch Rare Corojo usually is in shops until around the end of May when they are all sold out.


They have been released every year since 2001…before that the lack of wrapper caused the cigar line to disappear for a while.   (Actually the original Punch Rare Corojo was a flop.  It came out when Dan Blumenthal and Frank Llaneza were running Villizon sometime in the 70s.  The original Rare Corojo had a sandy Connecticut wrapper on it…it did not sell because it was too mild for Punch smokers.  Enter a guy named Lew Rothman  (you know JR Cigars).  He knew Frank had all that Connecticut wrapper and tobacco so he bought it, made it a JR private label and named it after a pen….Excalibur by Hoyo de Monterrey.  Today the cigars are nothing like those originals, just thought you might want some history.)


This year’s release uses an Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper with reddish hue.  The Binder is Connecticut Broadleaf and the fillers are Dominican, Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos.  Retail price for the Punch Rare Corojo is $4.79 to $7.39.  According to Gue Martinez



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