David Savona

Fight For Your Cigar II

Posted: Aug 28, 2007 2:59pm ET
Not long ago I blogged that it was time for you to fight for your cigar. It's time to do more.

First, an update. The U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives have each proposed to greatly increase the funding of the State Children’s Health Initiative, known as SCHIP. Funding the increase would come from higher taxes on cigarettes and cigars. For cigar smokers, the proposal would hike the Federal Excise Tax on large cigars, which is currently capped at five cents a smoke. The latest plan would increase that cap to as much as $3.

The Draft Night Smoke

Posted: Aug 17, 2007 11:46am ET
Where did the summer go? A few weeks ago I was on vacation in Vermont, and last week I was in Houston at the RTDA. Both are in my rear-view mirror now. On top of that, I’m one week away from my fantasy football draft. Summer is just about over.

RTDA Blog: The Wrapup

Posted: Aug 9, 2007 4:22pm ET
I’m back in the office with a full notebook, bags and bags of new cigars and a slightly groggy head. RTDA is over.

Despite the lower attendance than at the 2006 show in Las Vegas (where the show shall return in 2007, by the way) most of the cigar folks I spoke with were fairly pleased with the amount of business they wrote. I was happy with most of the cigars I smoked, although I have a lot of cigars on my desk still to try.

RTDA Blog: Day Three

Posted: Aug 7, 2007 8:12pm ET
My voice went out sometime around 8 last night, the victim of lots of cigars and maybe a little too much talking. Occupational hazard. I’ll be fine.

The voice aside, last night was a good one, with a great dinner hosted by Ashton Cigars at the Petroleum Club overlooking the city.  I ate blackened snapper while drinking Caymus Conundrum and smoking Ashton Heritage Puro Sol Belicosos. It was great food and great service, which seems to be a standard at any Ashton event.

RTDA Blog: Day Two

Posted: Aug 6, 2007 6:55pm ET
It’s still a rather thin crowd here at the RTDA show. "It’s under populated," said one industry veteran, starting out at the aisles. It seems as if Houston in the heart of summer just hasn’t pulled in the crowds the same way that Las Vegas did a year ago. But I have heard people say that the retailers who have made it here are buying, so no one is crying the blues just yet.

RTDA Blog: Day One

Posted: Aug 5, 2007 6:19pm ET
I was taking my first walk around the show floor here at the 75th Retail Tobacco Dealers of America trade show in Houston, and there it was: a full bar. I’ve seen a lot of things in the 13 RTDAs I’ve attended—a girl wearing an outfit made of less material than it takes to cover one of my feet; someone dressed in orange paint, like an Oompa Loompa—but never a rail where one could order a Tanqueray or a Maker’s Mark. Only in Texas. Too bad Bettridge isn’t here.

Heading to Houston

Posted: Aug 3, 2007 1:36pm ET
This weekend I’m flying to Houston to hang out with most of the U.S. cigar industry at the Retail Tobacco Dealers of America trade show. It’s the time every year when cigarmakers show off their new creations, and our team of Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Insider editors will be there to smoke away and try to figure out what’s worth your attention.

A Preview of Ashton's New San Cristobal

Posted: Jul 25, 2007 4:44pm ET
Today Sathya Levin and Manny Ferrero of Ashton Cigars came by the office for a few smokes and some lunch. They were giving me a first taste of their latest, the San Cristobal brand. These are going to hit the market next month, after a preview in two weeks at the RTDA show.

Fight For Your Cigar

Posted: Jul 18, 2007 3:23pm ET
It’s time to pick up the phone and to fight for your right to have a cigar at a price you can afford. News broke this week—in Cigar Insider, on this website and throughout the cigar world—that the U.S. Senate is considering a bill that would significantly increase the price of the cigars you enjoy. The legislation would add $35 billion to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the politicians who created this bill want those funds to come from tobacco users. And the burden that would be heaped on cigar smokers, especially those who smoke premium cigars, is completely out of hand.

A Crazy Smoking Policy

Posted: Jul 16, 2007 11:43am ET
I shot a leisurely 18 holes the other day with my brother-in-law. We took a cart, which makes it much easier to smoke cigars. The course was playing a bit slow, so I fired up a Punch Double Corona on the fifth tee box. It lasted until about the 13th or 14th hole, when I lit a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Lancero.

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