I know it’s been 2 weeks since I posted about last weeks news. I was a tad busy at the IPCPR on the 13 of July and was dead tired on the 20th from traveling back from the show last week. But here I am once again so let’s get started and welcome to the 9th installment of the Stogie Press “Last Weeks Cigar Social Media News and Questions”, where Boston Jimmie scours the world-wide web of cigars and summarizes relevant news and questions of the past week. On the following Monday, my friend Kap Kaplowitz then shreds my writing and puts his unique commentary on select news bites from today’s article, during his Kaplowitz Media radio pod cast.
Social Media Cigar News and Questions for the week ending July 27, 2018.
- Senator Marco Rubio (FL) makes a case for premium cigars
- GOT Single Malt?
- More Nicaragua News
- Question of the Week
Senator Marco Rubio (FL) Makes a Case for Premium Cigars
This was a good one. I was sitting in my lounge today and I get a message from my wife on my phone. She is good, and looks out for me in every way possible, but this time it was cigar related. It was forwarded video of Senator Marco Rubio from Florida making a case for exempting premium cigars from the deeming FDA regulations.
His message to his fellow Senators was focused around the potential closing of the J.C. Newman factory in Ybor City, Florida and the resulting loss of jobs if the factory closes. J.C. Newman has been a poster child of the cigar industry ever since the regulations was proposed and Senator Rubio was helping to bring their voice to Washington.
In his speech he noted:
“The interesting thing about the cigar industry and its history, not just in Florida but in this country, is that almost exclusively, the manufacturers of premium hand rolled cigars are small family-run businesses. By the way, so too, are the retailers that sell it.”
The speech was made on the same day that the FDA closed the latest commenting period on the regulation. Senator Rubio further noted:
“Now, I’ve offered an amendment to the minibus that’s before us that would exempt premium hand rolled cigars from the FDA regulations, not just so the industry can survive but so it can thrive and also to free up the FDA to go after what they intended to go after, what everybody thought this was about, which is common tobacco products like cigarettes and some of the other things that we are aware of”
The Senator closes his speech with a plea to Senate:
“If we don’t get it right here when we work this out, this is going to happen. You’re going to be reading about it and maybe it doesn’t matter in some places. It matters a lot to Florida. It matters a lot to this company in Ybor City, in Tampa. It matters a lot to the hundreds and thousands of people across the country who work in the retail shops that sell them and who work in the places hand rolling and making “them.
What is even more interesting is the social media pulse on this issue which you can read in some of the comments posted on the message:
Judy McCarthy Bahr What about the children??? Stupid focus on cigars? How would you feel if your children were in some strange facility surrounded by strangers & you had no idea where they were, and when or IF you would be reunited. Forget about cigars & other distraction. STAND UP FOR THE CHILDREN…STAND UP FOR THE FAMILIES.
Claudia Lane Piranio So let’s exempt a stinky cancer causing cigar roller when kids are still not reunited with their parents. Where are your freakin priorities?
David Grabove Great idea, so long as the cigar rollers voluntarily and unequivocally indemnify smokers and the people around them against
* cancers, including cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and larynx;
* lung diseases, including lung cancer, emphysema and chronic bronchitis; and
* oral and dental diseases, such as gum disease and tooth loss
Maria E. Delmoro While on one hand you have concerns about the livelihood of the last remaining hand rolled premium cigars , on the other ,we have scientific proof that during the fermentation process for cigar tobacco, high concentrations of cancer-causing nitrosamines are produced . Worth of noticing is that while we save this cigar companies about 200000 people died of lung cancer – most related to cigarette smoking . Many unable to afford quality care for cancer .
Cigars are riskier than cigarette .
Senator Rubio , please weight the consequences of saving this industry against the numerous deaths that causes . Rethink your measure . Thank you.
Beverly Gray Cigars hmmm. How about setting up Marijuana farms here instead? Weed can be rolled and it would make a lot more money.
Not all comments were negative but a large portion were, here is a positive one:
Henry Y Mary I proudly worked for more than five years for the company mentioned (JC Newman and Arturo Fuentes Cigars) These people are the most caring and great employers I have ever had. They employ 100’s of families that have worked with them some for more than 30 years. They give opportunities to elderly people that can’t stop working because of how economy is and Mr Eric and Bobby Newman treats them like real family. From the times of Julius Caesar the founder, then Eric and Bobby’s dad and now Eric’s son Drew, they have survived too many changes in economy, arbitrary regulations, depression and now this FDA regulations that will annihilate a way of live, a tradition and the last Family owned premium cigar company in America. God bless J.C Newman Cigar Co. and its workers. Blessings to Eric Newman, Bobby Newman and the Fuente family
All in all, it is the negative that may prevail in this fight…but fight we shall. Maybe, just maybe, we will get this overturned, meanwhile feel free to add your positive comments to the post below.
Game of Thrones (GOT) Single Malt
Scotch is one of those fine adult beverages that pairs well with a fine premium cigar. This week, Felix Assouline posted on his Facebook page about the introduction of a line of single malt scotches branded under the 7 houses of the Game of Thrones and the Night Watch.
As Felix states:
“What is Dead May Never Die !
Diageo & HBO are joining forces to make a Game Of Thrones Single Malt Scotch Whisky. This won’t be some gimmicky swill water just thrown together either. HBO has the cash to make this project the best Scotch Whisky out there. I can’t wait to taste this G.O.T. creation. The Starks of Winterfell will definitely have to change their words to “Whisky is Coming!””
The Whiskeys are identified as:
- House Baratheon – Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old (40% ABV)
- House Greyjoy – Talisker Select Reserve (45.8% ABV)
- House Lannister – Lagavulin 9 Year Old (46% ABV)
- House Stark – Dalwhinnie Winter’s Frost (43%)
- House Targaryen – Cardhu Gold Reserve (40% ABV)
- House Tully – The Singleton of Glendullan Select (40% ABV)
- House Tyrell – Clynelish Reserve (51.2% ABV)
- The Night’s Watch – Oban Bay Reserve (43% ABV)
There are 8 whiskeys planned in the collection, each from a different distillery. You can read more on this on the OneMoreDram Website.
As the uprising in Nicaragua continues to play out, there is now more US news coverage starting to show up and bring attention to what is happening.
Fox News reports about a bloody siege in DIRIAMBA, Nicaragua
The LA Times posted a detailed article breaking it all down for their reader.
CBS News produced a video news report on the crisis.
The NY Times has enlisted documentary photographer Susan Meiselas, who according to the paper; “gained fame for her gritty, empathetic war coverage in Nicaragua and El Salvador in the 1980s” to return to Managua to cover a march.
This is all in the last week. We need to keep covering this and bring the attention to what is going on beyond just the cigar community. But, even with the world watching President Ortega stated he will not consider stepping down to restore peace to his country.
Question of the Week
Issa Baba on Facebook posted – “How many of my FB friends are Veterans AND have ownership stakes in a cigar company?” If you are, comment on this article and tell us your story, I would be pleased to write a piece on this topic in the future.