The Cigar Week Wrap is a one stop place to catch up on the activity here at Cigar Coop.  It is a combination of our news reports, cigar reviews, and assessment updates we do throughout the week.  We will throw in a few bonus items from time to time as well. Our intent is to publish once a week on Saturday mornings.  Note: We have decided to label our posts as “Volume 2” to be consistent with the monthly “Editor’s Corner”.

News and Previews

Legislative News

  • FDA: This week an additional four co-sponsors have signed on to HR 792 – making the total 39 co-sponsors.  This week, the U.S. Justice Department has opted not to appeal a a lower court ruling that struck down rules requiring graphic health warnings on cigarette packaging.
  • Hawaii: Legislation (SB 188) is being proposed that would put a 50 cent tax cap on premium cigars. The bill is gaining traction as it was passed by the Senate with a vote of 24 to 1. Part of this bill also redefines what a premium cigar is.  A display ban (SB 642) is being proposed would require all tobacco products to be sold behind a cash register counter.  The bill was recently ammended to excluse premium cigars.
  • New York: Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing legislation that would require retailers to keep tobacco products out of sight of consumers.  The rationale is said to be an effort to further reduce the youth smoking rate.  While those tobacco shops that are primarily devoted to tobacco are exempt, there is still a lot of concern for this proposal among the cigar industry. A second bill was also proposed that includes increased penalties for retailers who evade tobacco taxes by selling smuggled cigarettes.  It also would prohibit them from redeeming coupons and require them to sell non-premium cigars and cigarillos in packs of at least four.
  • Wisconsin:  Republican Governor Scott Walker is proposing legislation that would impose a $50 per month “fee” for state employees that smoke, as a surcharge on their health insurance.  The CRA has issued an alert opposing this proposal.

Assessment Updates

On this date March 23rd..