What’s smoking…May 2009
Written by Gary J. Arzt

Friday, 29 May 2009

User Rating: / 1

leisure and relaxation


A few months ago had a survey regarding smokers’ reactions to the S-Chip tax, which was effective Wednesday, 1 April. Below are the questions and response percentages:


            Quite smoking cigars              7.65%

            Smoke much less                              18.02%

            Continue smoking as usual         12.35%

`           Find a black market source          45.19%

            Buy overseas                           8.04%

            Kill anyone who looks at me  I won’t include this

            Funny                                                  8.04%


Well, aside from the last question, I found the answers interesting. I, actually, answered the survey and I am in the “Continue smoking as usual” category.


What I would like to see is a legitimate market study, say in October, under the auspices of CAA, IPCPR or the TAA, giving respondents the same choices – save for the last one.


I don’t think that the 40¢, actually a 35¢ increase as there was a, roughly 5¢ tax on cigars, is that onerous – save for the fact that it comes at us in difficult economic times.


Famous Smoke Shop’s Cigar Expo 2009 will take place Saturday, 27 June, at their retail outlet (1100 Conroy Place, Easton, PA 18045 – – 610.559.7000). The event commences at 2:00 PM.


Celebrating their seventieth year in business, Tim Carr, the Retail Store Manager, told me he is determined to make this the greatest cigar event ever to take place.

Obviously, he’s got some serious competition for that title, from the likes of Cigar Aficionado’s “Big Smoke,” Cigar International’s “Cigar Fest” and Abe Dababneh’s “Great Smoke,” at Smoke Inn in West Palm Beach, FL.


Be that as it may, Tim has created some tremendous excitement with the programme being offered. For one thing, every guest (General Admission Tickets are $150) will receive a minimum of fifty (50) cigars. There will be waitress service, a cigar menu, live entertainment, great food and a stupendous raffle.


Then there is the VIP ticket at $225.00 per person, which includes admission at 11:00 AM and a “Meet the Makers” dinner on Friday evening, 26 June. There you’ll dine, drink and smoke with Rocky Patel, Nestor Miranda, Eddie Ortega, Erik Espinosa, and a myriad number of cigar makers.


The VIP ticket also includes a special luncheon on Saturday, as well as extra cigars.


The raffle will include a “Meet the Cigar Makers” two (2) day visit to Santiago, DR – all expenses paid. You’ll dine with the founders of pro Cigar; ask all the questions you want. Visit factories, tobacco feels, and relax and enjoy cigars with Guillermo Leon, Henke Kelner, Jose Seijas, et al.


The piéce de résistance is the five hundred (500) cigars that will be blended for you – to your taste and banded with a band commemorating the visit and shipped to your home or office when completed and aged.


I can hear the winner now, upon his return from Santiago: “As I was saying to Henke & Guillermo…”


The only prize better than that would be merengue lessons from Arthur Zaretsky!


It sounds like Tim really wants Famous Smoke Shop to pull ahead in the major cigar event sweepstakes!


In store cigar events are a staple of the industry, so the tobacconists and cigar brands that have exciting events, are highly noticeable.


Such an event too place Thursday, 9 April, at Cordova Cigars (6050 North 9th Avenue, Pensacola, FL 32504 – – 850.473.0080) featuring Espinosa y Ortega’s Cubao, 601 and Mi Barrio and starring co-owner, Erik Espinosa. I was pleased to be in attendance, not only to smoke those great cigars, but to see Robbie Morton, Tom Morton, Nathan, John and Steff – to fabulous staff at Cordova, and all the customers there that I have become friends with. Of course, I think Erik and I were the only people there that weren’t “packing!”


Perhaps the most significant aspect of the event was that Russ Davis, the acknowledged Domino Master of Escambia County, entered and won the Domino Tournament. His prize was a great box of cigars Espinosa y Ortega cigars: either 601, Cubao or Mi Barrio – I forget.


I played with Russ the first time I was at Cordova for an event, and to say that he is a fearsome opponent is to seriously understate the facts.


Of course, it was not the ‘classic’ Cuban game played in Miami. Rather it was “White man’s dominos,” aided and abetted by “Cordova Rules!”


"A cigar ought not to be smoked solely with the mouth, but with the hand, the eyes, and with the spirit." Zino Davidoff

For the edification of those who don’t understand my finding “cigar pimp” deplorable, here is the definition of “pimp” from Merriam-Webster:


0 # PUROS FINE CIGARS 2 Year AnniversaryThe Dark Knight 2009-05-31 05:38
Just thought it was worth mentioning that Alejandro Alcorta owner of Puros Fine Cigars (10792 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33165 – - 305.222.2217) celebrated his 2nd Anniversary this past weekend. Looking forward to many more great years of cigar smoking at PUROS!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!

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