Ultimate Man Pack Rocks

Ultimate Man Pack

Ultimate Man Pack

We received the Ultimate Man Pack from Groovy Groomsmen Gifts and I was shocked by how professional they look and feel. I love how they customized the two glasses and the slate coasters. These are such unique coasters for whiskey lovers. Real classy and the box it all came in had my initial. The etching is beautiful and they have a nice weight to them.

The stone ice cubes are great and within the last few years I have become a fan of good Scotch, but I do like it on the rocks (cold) rather than neat so this works fantastic.

Shipping was also super fast and I definitely recommend this product. They make a wonderful, personalized gift.

The Problem with Kids and Flavored Tobacco

Flavored Cigars at The Cigar Store

by Josephine Hwang & Brian Jenssen MD

We can all remember the joy of browsing the candy aisle as kids, the temptation of those brightly-colored candy wrappers promising a fruity-sweet reward inside. Unfortunately, the tobacco industry has historically capitalized on children’s love of sweets, and may be targeting them in marketing campaigns once again.

While it’s often adults who face the consequences of long-term tobacco use, we – as researchers and practitioners who have studied this issue closely – see a consistent pattern of the tobacco industry working to attract new customers from childhood. This concerns us because each day nearly 2,100 youth become daily cigarette smokers, and one out of every three young smokers—5.6 million children today—will die early because of tobacco use. Recognizing this, the Philadelphia City Council recently introduced legislation that seeks to ban flavors that appeal to children in cigar products, eliminating one of the industry’s primary marketing tactics and giving our young people a fair chance to lead tobacco-free lives.

Based on evidence that cigarettes flavored with candy and fruit encourage youth experimentation, regular use and addiction, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 banned all cigarettes containing flavors except tobacco and menthol. The ban appears to be working. It has been associated with a decrease in the number of cigarettes smoked among youth by 58 percent and the likelihood of smoking cigarettes overall in this age group by 17 percent.

While this data is encouraging, efforts to curb smoking initiation among youth face a new threat. Tobacco companies also develop and market cigars, smokeless tobacco, and electronic cigarettes. These products are not subject to the same restrictions as cigarettes, so adding flavors to them has not come under the same scrutiny. As a result, there are now more than 250 flavors of cigar products, everything from cotton candy to strawberry.

The public health implications of this trend have been significant. We have already seen a shift towards the use of non-cigarette tobacco products preferentially among youth and young adults across the country. In Philadelphia, teen cigar and “cigarillo” or little cigar use rose by more than 75 percent between 2011 and 2015, such that cigar use is now more common than cigarette use. The appeal of these products for youth is addicting a new generation of users and undoing progress made by previous tobacco control policies.

Flavored cigars and cigarillos are major “starter products” that get kids hooked on tobacco by masking the harshness of smoke and making the smoking experience more tolerable and enjoyable. Over 80 percent of adolescents and young adults who have tried tobacco report that their first product was flavored. When asked why they use tobacco, young users consistently say it is because they like the flavors.

Youth are also more likely to experiment because they might think flavored products, especially cigars and cigarillos, are more “natural” and less harmful than cigarettes. In reality, the same toxic and cancer-causing chemicals in cigarettes are produced in cigars at even higher levels. Still, their brightly-colored foil packaging, wide variety of flavors and fruity-sweet smells only create false-positive images for kids. Flavored tobacco lowers the perceived harm and increases the social acceptability of using tobacco, ultimately increasing youth experimentation.

The long-term consequences of tobacco use are devastating for patients and their loved ones. The progressive damage to the heart, lungs and blood vessels can severely limit one’s ability to function independently. Smoking also increases the risk of cancer in nearly every body part, from the mouth to the colon. In fact, the health consequences are so extensive that smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Preventing children from ever picking up their first tobacco product is by far the best thing we can do to protect them from tobacco-related disease and death.

In Philadelphia, we have the opportunity to use effective policy to close the flavor loophole. The country’s leading medical and health advocacy groups, from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the American Cancer Society, all agree that flavored tobacco products are made for the purpose of attracting kids and fueling the addiction of a new generation of lifelong users. Several major U.S. cities, including Chicago and Minneapolis, limit the sale of flavored cigars; San Francisco moved ahead to ban all flavored tobacco products.

Philadelphia deserves the same protections, and we can’t afford to wait as children and adolescents pay the ultimate price. For our youngest—and future—generations to have a fair shot at a tobacco-free life, we need to act now to prevent children’s access to all flavored tobacco products.

CRA Statement on Passage of House Bill Containing Premium Cigar Exemption Language

United States House of Representative

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United States House of Representatives passed the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act of 2018, H.R. 3354.

By a vote of 211-198, the House adopted language that would exempt premium cigars from FDA language by restricting the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) from using any funds to enforce the rule.  The specific language included in the bill, is the same language that was adopted by the full House Committee on Appropriations on July 12th of this year.

J. Glynn Loope, Executive Director of Cigar Rights of America, stated “that passage of this amendment, as included in the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act of 2018, is a testament to the bi-partisan coalition of co-sponsors that have served as a voice of reason, that premium handmade cigars do not deserve the treatment of draconian regulations as proposed by the FDA.  Loope continued, ” the bill further speaks to the original congressional intent of the Tobacco Control Act, while serving as a message to the U.S. Senate, as budget negotiations continue this year.”

CRA would like to publicly commend the House of Representatives for taking action to protect the small business premium cigar manufacturers and retailers of this country as well as protecting the rights of adult consumers of premium cigars.

CRA looks forward to working with our supporters and champions in the Senate as they began the process of consideration of this bill.

CRA is working in partnership with the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association in an effort to seek this premium cigar exemption, and to mitigate the detrimental impact of the currently proposed FDA regulations.

For comments, questions, or additional information regarding the FDA’s announcement, please contact the individuals listed below.

Glynn Loope

glynn.loope@cigarrights.org

Cody Carden

cody.carden@cigarrights.org

(202) 469.3444

Talked About Topic: Cigars – Tax Them Harder or Ban Them

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In many states, cigars are the target of legislators looking to generate more tax dollars or wanting to appear tough on tobacco, and this is what makes them an easy target. They generate less revenue than cigarettes and are mostly used by men. This means fewer groups of people would pay attention to what’s going with the price, availability, and freedom to smoke them. Cigarettes, on the other hand, are used by both men and women along with more diversity. Mess with cigarettes and you have a fight on your hands. Cigars, however, are easy pickings for tax increases and bans.

Most of the growth in cigar sales is driven by people buying single cigars. This represents a group of people with less disposable income. There are also the people who don’t have the interest, training, time, or wherewithal to mount battles to prevent politicians from raising the taxes on or banning the use of cigars. It seems like the disinterest in a legal battle by many cigar smokers has emboldened the tax or ban from politicians. Each year they seem to increase the tax on cigars and decrease the number of establishments and other locations where cigars can be smoked.

While most states have increased the tax on cigars and prohibiting their use in a growing number of establishment and social situations, New York and Connecticut have taken it to another level. Those states have imposed some of the largest taxes on cigars in the country. They’ve also proposed and enacted laws restricting or banning smoking of cigars. It’s not so surprising to hear that cigar sales in those states have declined by as much as 15%. In January of 2008, the cap on the cigar taxes were eliminated; hence they’ve increased up to 20,000%.

Many politicians say increasing taxes on cigars plays a two-fold role. The money raised is used to pay for the cost of treating the medical problems of smokers. Plus, the high price will act as a deterrent, discouraging people from purchasing cigars. Some say prohibiting the smoking of cigars in a growing number of places is an effective way to protect people’s health, and banning cigars and other tobacco products would be even more effective.

But without the jobs and tax revenue tobacco generates, many lives and well-meaning programs would be negatively impacted. That makes raising taxes a more viable option than banning cigars completely. It’s basically the lesser of 2 evils at this point.

Big Changes on Ban of Cuban Cigars

cuban-cigarsby Ben Geier

A new policy by President Obama means that importing up to $100 worth of Cuban tobacco products will be legal.

A new policy by President Obama means that importing up to $100 worth of Cuban tobacco products will be legal.

Getting your lips around a high quality cigar just got a bit easier.

Today’s announcement that the United States will normalize relations with Cuba means that it will be legal to transport Cuban cigars and other alcohol and tobacco products into the United States. Cuban tobacco and alcohol imports will be capped at $100, while ceiling for all Cuban goods brought back will be $400.

The impact on the cigar industry could be huge. Cuban cigars are considered by many aficionados to among the best, and their availability – at least legally, speaking – could mean a big lift sales.

“It’s going to be massive,” said Christopher Bledsoe, the president and owner of International Cigar Experts, a cigar shipping company. “Ever since we’ve been in business, which has been about 12 years, we consistently have people ask us about Cuban cigars.”

But first, Bledsoe said he’ll consult with the company’s lawyers to figure out exactly what’s allowed. For instance, can it only list Cuban products for sale that are priced below $100?

Cuban cigars have been one of the most controversial products banned by the United States as part of its Cuban embargo, which started in the early 1960s following the rise to power of Communist Fidel Castro. Despite the ban, cigar smokers have gone to great lengths to get their hands on Cohibas and Montecristos.

TheCigarStore.com will keep you in touch as we find out more.