Cigar Aficionado

Trade Show to Be Untaxed

The biggest trade show in the premium cigar industry is less than two months away, and today the show organizers announced that exhibiting companies would be able to pass out their cigars without paying taxes.

At last year's International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show, exhibitors were wary of handing out samples, fearing the taxes that would be levied on the cigars they gave out. This year's show (which is being held in the same place, New Orleans, Louisiana), will be more like all the others that preceded it, without the specter of taxes.

"Any cigar or other smoking tobacco samples distributed will be exempt from state excise and use taxes for the duration of the trade show," said Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR. He said the organization had been working on the exemption since the fall of 2009, spurred by the "financial stress" put on its exhibitors during the 2009 trade show.

The tax break does not apply to any cigarettes handed out at the show.