California Lowers Excise Tax Rate On Cigars

How about some good news when it comes to tax rates and cigars?

The ICPCR reports

California’s Other Tobacco Products (OTP) Excise Tax Rate Drops for Fiscal Year 2012-13
State Revenue and Tax Code Section 30126 requires the Board of Equalization to annually review and determine the Other Tobacco Products (OTP) excise tax rate. The new excise tax rate is effective July 1, 2012 and will remain in effect for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

The 2012-13 OTP excise tax rate is based on the wholesale price of premium cigarettes as of March 1, 2012.
The new California excise tax rate will be 30.68%. This represents a reduction from the 2011-12 rate of 31.73%.

Although the “amount” of reduction may not seem like much – especially given the massive amount cigars are taxed – it is still as step in the right direction!

Stop FDA From Regulating Premium Cigars

Help stop the FDA from regulating the cigar industry!

Bottom line, if you smoke cigars, this is important and will only take 2 minutes of your time.

Below you will find an excerpt of a petition to the Obama administration put forth by Cigar Rights of America (CRA) and the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR). We only have 30 days to get 25,000 signatures.

Here is how you can help…

1. Visit

2. Click on the “Create An Account” button. (The White House requires this for security verification)

3. Within a few short minutes you will receive and email and you MUST click the link within to activate your account.

4. Once your account is active, click on the “Sign the Petition” button.

Your support is very important. The 2 minutes you spend helping now could equal hours of cigar enjoyment for the rest of your life!

Below is  a copy of the petition.

We petition the Obama administration to:

Not Allow The FDA To Regulate Premium Cigars

Dear Mr. President:

The FDA is considering the creation of regulations for the premium cigar industry. These regulations will jeopardize over 85,000 American jobs, destroy America’s “mom & pop” premium cigar retailers & manufacturers, and risk over 250,000 jobs in Latin American that produce cigars, impacting the economic/political stability in the region.

We hope you will stand up for small businesses that dot Main Street America & recognize that premium cigars are enjoyed by adults, are not addictive and therefore do not conform to the Congressional intent of the Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act.

Tell the FDA to leave our premium cigars alone. With this nation’s more pressing issues, harming my simple ability to enjoy a cigar should not be a priority of the government.

Share with a friend…

Use the “Share” button below to share this with your friends. The last thing we need is more big government intervention in our everyday lives!

Top Five Cigars For Fathers Day

What Dad really for Fathers Day is some great cigars to add to his humidor. So forget getting Dad yet another tie that he will no doubt only wear when someone makes him.

Here are five great choices you can pick up this year for Dad (in no particular order).

Liga Privada Flying Pig / Drew Estate – Not for beginners, this cigar is a hot seller among those preferring a full body smoke.

Nomad Renegade / Nomad Cigar Company* – From what we understand, the Renegade contains the same blend as the rest of Nomad line…and yet, this one has risen to the top.

San Lotano Oval / AJ FernandezWhat? It is oval? Yea. You know, odd shaped, kind of like Dad himself.

Alec Bradley Tempus / Alec BradleyTough to single out an Alec Bradley that Dad will love…this one will surely do the trick!

Room 101 OSOK / Camacho – One Shot, One Kill (OSOK). Dad will like the name alone.

If you think Dad is fully stocked on cigars, he can never have enough. But, if you are looking for a really cool cigar accessory, check out the 3D Mayan by Xikar.

Made in Cuba or Made in Havana?

You may have seen or heard two different terms when describing Cuban Cigars. “Made in Cuba” and “Made in Havana.”

The two words are interchangeable and in either case come from the island of Cuba. The term “Made in Havana” is largely due to the fact that most Cuban cigars are made in or around Havana.

Besides, it sounds way better than “Made in Wells, NV.”

Where Did Punch Cigar Get Its Name?

punchandjudyYou wouldn’t think a cartoon character would be the inspiration of cigar line, but that is exactly where Punch got its name around 1840. 

The name Punch was taken from an English humor magazine (and a very popular puppet show)

The character “Punch” smoked and stogie and repeatedly hit everyone with his club. You may vaguely recall the names “Punch and Judy” as they were seldem apart. 

Rating Cigars

There are a variety of characteristics you can use to rate cigars. The only thing that is important is that you are consistent in what you are looking for. I recommend that you keep a diary of the different cigars that you smoke. Some purveyors carry great diaries that have a place for you to glue the band, rate the cigar, and write comments. [Read more…]

Cigar (Urban) Legends

Authors Note: These stories have been shared many times in the Cigar world. Now urban legends, a few are true, a few cigar smokers probably created it late one night. But then again, as a friend of mine says, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story”.

Cigars and the Cuban Embargo…

The year is now 1962, and before President John F. Kennedy authorized a trade embargo with Cuba, he instructed his press secretary to acquire as many of his favorite Cuban cigars as he could find. Once the embargo was signed, Cuban products were no longer legally available to United States citizens. 

Cigar Crime Doesn’t Pay…

In Charlotte, North Carolina, a man with a passion for fine cigars figured out a way to get his smokes for free.  He purchased a case of 2 dozen very, rare, very costly cigars.  Like many people with objects of great value, he had them insured.  Nothing odd in that…except he had them insured against fire!  

It took the man less than a month to consume his stockpile, and although he hadn’t even paid a single premium on his new policy, he filed a claim with the insurance company.  He stated that his property had been lost “in a series of small fires.”  

Obviously, the insurance company balked, saying that the cigars had been consumed in a normal fashion. He called in his lawyers, they called in their lawyers.  He sued…and, much to everyone’s surprise, he WON!

In his ruling, the judge stated that the insurance company had issued a valid policy that warranted the cigars as insurable and guaranteed payment in the even of “loss by fire.”  The policy didn’t define an “acceptable” fire, so it was considered to be in force and the company was obliged to compensate the man for his “loss.”

Given the time and costs of a lengthy appeal, the insurance company felt it was more cost-effective to accept the judge’s ruling and paid $15,000 to their client for his “loss.”

But wait.  After our “hero” cashed his check, he was arrested – on 24 counts of arson!  The prosecution used the man’s own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case to prove that he had intentionally destroyed valuable property.  He was sentenced to 2 decades in prison – 24 consecutive l-year terms.

Or Does Cigar Crime Pay?…

The defendant in a lawsuit involving large sums of money was very concerned about the outcome of his case.  “If I lose, I’ll be ruined,” he said to his lawyer.

“It’s in the judge’s hands now,” his advocate explained.

“Would it help if I sent His Honor a box of cigars?” wondered the defendant.  

His attorney was horrified at the suggestion and urgently counseled his client against such behavior.  “This judge is a stickler for ethics. You shouldn’t even smile at him!  And sending him a box of cigars would completely prejudice him against your case. He might even find you in contempt of court  “

Two days later, the judge rendered a decision — in favor of the defendant. As the defendant left the courthouse, he said to his lawyer, “Thanks for the tip about the cigars. It certainly worked.”

“I’m sure we would have lost the case if you’d sent those cigars,” said the lawyer.

“But I did send them!” said the defendant.  “That’s how we won the case.  I sent the cheapest cigars that I could find and enclosed the plaintiff’s business card.” 

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All the best,

The Godfather @ Cigar Secrets