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Cuban Cigar Sales Rise

Habanos box

Sales of Cuban cigars around the world rose 2% in calendar year 2010, as stogie-chomping consumers in the Middle East and China helped to offset declining revenues as the result of stringent anti-smoking laws being enacted in other parts of the world. According to Cuban state-run tobacco monopoly Habanos S.A., 2010's revenues reverse a downward trend in Cuban cigar sales around the world. Habanos reported revenues of $369.4 million in 2010. A boost in sales in China especially helped to … [Read more...]

CAO Vets Form New Cigar Company


Four executives of General Cigar's CAO International who left the company in the wake of a mega-merger have formed their own premium-cigar company in the same city where CAO got its start. Jon Huber, formerly director of lifestyle marketing for CAO, is in the process of setting up Crowned Heads LLC with three other CAO veterans — Mike Conder, who was senior vice president of marketing; Michael Trebing, creative media manager; and Nancy Heathman, graphic designer. As reported in Cigar … [Read more...]

Big Changes at Altadis USA


Imperial Tobacco Group PLC's Altadis USA unit is separating out its premium cigar brands from its machine-mades, and in the process is creating a new division for its premiums. As first reported by Cigar Aficionado, Altadis USA's internal changes are effective immediately. Altadis USA's premium cigar brands include the non-Cuban versions of H. Upmann, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta and Trinidad; as well as Don Diego, Gispert, Playboy, Saint Louis Rey, Siglo, Warlock and many others. Its … [Read more...]

Cigar Sales and Minors in Indiana


Tobacco product sales to minors assisting with Indiana's annual Tobacco Retailer Inspection Program (TRIP) hit a new all-time low in 2010, but a bit of a surprise came from cigar sales to minors during inspections. TRIP officials said sales of all tobacco products during inspections combined occurred 3.8% of the time to minors. Most of the time, the minors involved in the program asked for cigarettes. In those cases, stores sold cigarettes to the youth 2.7% of the time. Cigars were asked … [Read more...]

Americans are Getting Fatter … Cigars

Box label from Don Pepin Garcia cigars

José “Pepin” Garcia, chief executive officer of Miami-based El Rey de los Habanos, Inc. — better known as Don Pepín Cigars — will be rolling out some very thick cigars to people who are looking for ring gauges larger than what used to be considered big. The company's "Blue Label" brand's newest size is a Toro Gordo, described as a six-inch long, 56 ring gauge. The stick, which began shipping last week, is a Nicaraguan puro cigar. The Toro Gordo's suggested retail price is … [Read more...]

Cigar Pro Sal Fontana Dies at 86

Sal Fontana photo

Salvatore Fontana, known as "Sal" to those in the cigar industry, died last Wednesday in his hometown of Jupiter, Florida. He had just turned 86. Fontana had been involved with cigars for 60 years, after a 2-year stint in the cigarette end of the tobacco industry. Most recently, Fontana was a top executive at Camacho Cigars. He was a popular figure in the cigar trade, having also worked at American Tobacco Co. and Carl Upmann, which later was changed to Baccarat. Cigar Aficionado (.com) … [Read more...]

CAO Chairman Hyams Latest to Exit

CAO Cigars Logo

The "out" door on the proverbial executive floor of General Cigar's CAO International is really getting a workout these days. Almost three months after CAO President Tim Ozgener left the cigar manufacturer, other top people have left the company; the latest being Chairman Gary Hyams. In a statement released this week, General Cigar said Hyams would leave CAO as the integration of the company and General Cigar Company is now complete. Hyams led the integration of the two companies along with … [Read more...]

Reynolds Selling Lane Limited to STG


Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG), which is 49 percent-owned by tobacco giant Swedish Match, said it will acquire Reynolds American Inc.'s (NYSE:RAI) Lane, Limited for $205 million in cash. Lane, Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Winston-Salem, NC-based RAI. Another RAI subsidiary, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., handles Lane’s sales, marketing and distribution through a services agreement. With the Lane Limited acquisition, STG will add sales volumes of 525 tons of pipe tobacco, … [Read more...]

Davidoff’s NYC Store Moving


A move is a move, no matter how long or short of a distance traveled between the old and the new. Davidoff's main store in New York City will find out about that fact of life, when it moves a block south from its present digs at 535 Madison Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Davidoff is moving, partially because of the always-hot indoor smoking issue. The owners of 535 Madison banned smoking in the structure. Owners had also received complaints about secondhand smoke from the store, despite … [Read more...]

La Aurora Hits “Broadway”

Broadway by La Aurora - New York

A second New York state-only premium cigar is being introduced in Manhattan tonight to tax-weary cigar lovers, courtesy La Aurora Cigars. Last July, the state of New York raised taxes on cigars from 46% to 75%. The cigar industry's response has been to introduce "New York-only" cigars, or sticks that are only available from cigar shops and tobacconists in New York state. The new "Broadway" series by La Aurora is currently available in a Sumo Toro size (5.75" by 54 ring gauge), but others … [Read more...]