Written by Puff Staff

Friday, 01 February 2013

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Minnesota Legislators Take Aim at Little Cigars

The holidays are over and state legislatures are back in session. That means we can expect more news of states that are proposing plans to regulate tobacco.

A few members of the Minnesota legislature are attempting to raise taxes on “little cigars,” which are popular with young smokers because they come in flavors and are cheap. While cigarettes typically sell for $5 a pack in the state, a 20-pack of the small cigars goes for about $1.50.

Senator Carla Nelson (R-Rochester) bemoaned the appeal of the small cigars to teens. “Little cigars come in peach, grape, strawberry and chocolate flavors and can be purchased for less than $2 a pack. As a former educator, their appeal to our youth is greatly concerning.”

Look for some major opposition to this plan from the tobacco industry.

Redlands Cigar Shop Opens in CA

When Erik Haynes decided to build his own tobacco shop, he did it from the ground up—literally. Back in 2011, Haynes was hired by the owners of the Redlands Cigar Shop as a carpenter. Then fate intervened when one owner bailed on the project and the other was in a serious auto accident. Haynes, a licensed contractor took over as owner and finished building the shop himself.



The Redlands Cigar Shop opened in December and is still a work in progress. Haynes has plans to add an adjoining private lounge that will give paid members a card that can be used for all-hours access, including smoking, poker and a personal storage locker for cigars.

The shop offers everything a cigar smoker could desire, including premium smokes, games, TV, drinks and a generally cool place to get away from civilization. Haynes comments, "The tobacco laws are getting more restrictive. You want to get a big ol' fat ticket? Light up a cigar and walk down the street."

The shop is strategically located, being the only cigar lounge on the 10 freeway between Los Angeles and Palm Springs. Haynes touts his better deals for travelers. “I'm selling a stick for $10, and they're selling it for $15 in Palm Springs. If you can save $50 on 10 sticks, why not pull of the freeway on your way to golfing or Morongo?"

Redlands Cigar Shop is located at 732 Tennessee St, Redlands, CA 92374. 909-793-5494

Mobile Stogie Store is a Hit in NC

Bob Hammel considers a hand-rolled cigar to be a work of art, which is why he came up with the idea for Satellite Cigar, a mobile store that travels the Concord, SC, area, offering cigar tastings and delivery of premium smokes.



Pointing to a pair of cigars from his selection, Hammel told the Charlotte Observer, “Cigars are a lot like wine. This would be compared to a sweet wine. This would be like a very dry wine in comparison.”

After acquiring a love for cigars while on a vacation tasting tour, Hammel returned home to the Concord area and was bothered by the lack of places in town to but a good cigar. He said, “I knew I couldn’t be the only frustrated cigar smoker here in town.”

Hammel added, “You can go into the gas station and get a cigar, but it’s a machine-made version that’s highly processed. Hand-rolled cigars are more of an art form.”

That inspired him to launch Satellite Cigar, and Hammel has been bringing his cigar tasting events to venues like local wineries and microbreweries, guys’ night out events, and anywhere fine cigars are welcome.

Hammel has a theory on the appeal of fine cigars. “It forces you to relax. You can rush it and not enjoy it, but you have to set time aside if you want to smoke.”

Check out Satellite Cigar at

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