Written by Puff Staff

Saturday, 28 July 2012

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newleadpicWe have both good news and sad this week, as a limited edition premium cigar makes its debut, while roll-your-own tobacco stores bite the dust. Also, some cigar store owners are organizing to take on the federal government.






Camacho Cigars Introduces Liberty Series

Cigar smokers will be lovin’ their liberty when they try out the new Liberty Series of cigars from Camacho. But this limited run won’t last long, so you’ll need to get your hands on a Liberty set now!


Ever since the sixties, Camacho Cigars has been purveying their handmade luxury cigars, and their new Liberty Series just might be their best yet. The 2012 blend combines four varieties from Camacho’s Corojo crop of 2008, which were grown on the same lot specifically for use in these cigars.

Camacho’s Liberty line is a limited run of just 2,000 boxes of 20 cigars each, and every cigar is encased in an individual box with a red lid and the smoke’s number run on the side. One cigar sells for $16.80, while a full box is $336.

White Owl and Game Launch Black Cigarillos

Black is always elegant and in style, which is probably why White Owl and Game are introducing a new line of cigarillos called Black. As Brian Love, Director of Mass Market Cigars, explains, “Black is a word that conjures up all kinds of powerful emotions: premium and masculine, dark and mysterious, elegant and sophisticated. It was this inspiration that prompted us to introduce this hottest new idea in cigarillos, The Darker Side of Smooth(TM).”


Blacks are dark and smooth for a sweet mellow smoke. They’re being launched with an array of promotions including a 3-for-2 pouch and bonus boxes.

Highway Bill Drives Roll-Your-Own Stores Out of Business

When the federal highway bill was signed into law earlier this month, there were predictions that one provision would have devastating effects on shops that sell tobacco for rolling into cigarettes. Now the new regulations are driving many stores out of business.

The new legislation designated businesses that sell cigarettes made in roll-your-own machines as manufacturers, making them subject to the same taxes and regulations as the makers of brand-name cigarettes and cigars.


One shop owner affected by the new legislation is Marcelo Cadillo, whose Natural Leaf Tobacco shop in the Niles district of Fremont, CA, drew customers from as far away as San Francisco, attracted by the fresh tobacco and low prices. Now the shop he opened in late 2011 is closed, and Cadillo plans to turn the location into a vintage candy store.

Cadillo, who had invested $20,000 in the store, told the San Jose Mercury News, “I put myself through college, got a degree and just worked really hard. I've always had two, three, four jobs even at a time. I saved up every penny I could to open up my shop, and overnight it was taken from me…It hurts.”

Cadillo’s story is typical of the tobacco shop owners who were caught in the lurch by the bill. What is the federal government’s justification for driving so many citizens out of business?

The bill’s sponsor Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) told the Wall Street Journal, “Roll-your-own cigarette machines take advantage of an unintended tax loophole, and that isn't right.”

Another force behind the law was the National Association of Convenience Stores, whose spokesperson claimed the difference in taxing between the cigarettes manufactured by Big Tobacco and the ones made by roll-your-own businesses were “threatening the livelihood of traditional retailers,” as well as “draining federal and state tax revenues and undermining a host of laws intended to regulate cigarettes.”

So Big Tobacco and the convenience stores have gotten their way and small businessmen like Marcelo Cadillo are out of luck—and out of business.

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