Last Weeks Social Media Cigar News and Questions – May 18, 2018

Welcome  to  the second installment of Last Weeks Social Media Cigar News and Questions, where your’s truly, Boston Jimmie, scrapes through Cigar Social Media Channels, Groups, and individual posts to find topics of interest for the week. Of course, once I write this, my friend Kap Kaplowitz will take it all in and shred it; like Eddy Van Halen can shred a guitar. Kap will then talk about selected topics on his weekly Kaplowitz Pod Cast on  Kaplowtiz Radio Monday night.

This weeks topics of discussion include:

  • The FDA wins some  – loses some
  • Live to 112 by smoking cigars and drinking whiskey
  • Nicaragua Protests
  • Somoto Tobacco?
  • Steve Saka is looking for his Unicorns
  • Saturday Cigar Events
  • Interesting and fun questions

The Battle with the FDA

It has been a news worthy week in the cigar world as we saw two major FDA related announcements that were the subject of discussion through the week. The first was the news that a federal judge essentially cut down the CRA, IPCPR, and CAA lawsuit, effectively siding with the FDA and citing various precedent cases as to why. They did leave in tact the ability for a tobacconist to blend pipe tobacco without being classified as a manufacturer.

US Congress

The second topic around the FDA is the encouraging news that the House Appropriations voted 29-20 to include an amendment to the FY 2019 budget that would extend the predicate date for pre-market approval procedures from February 15, 2007 to April 25, 2014 and it would add language that declares “premium cigars” exempt from the FDA deeming regulations passed in 2016.

Of course there was much debate and opinions posted on social media about what the FDA is doing to the Premium Cigar Business and even noting that some in the business are not helping the cause.

One of the most vocal this week was Dr. Gaby Kafie, owner of Kafie 1901 Cigars and Founder of the Boutique Cigar Association of America.  Gaby expressed his views in a late night rant:

Gaby is right, we all  need to get involved, it is our lifestyle, jobs, and businesses that are at risk. So if you are not involved, get involved, let your voice be heard.

Live to 112 by smoking cigars and drinking whiskey

I am sure it has a lot to do with genetics, but this time each year we celebrate another birthday of the oldest WWII veteran; Richard Overton. As Robert DeRusso noted on his Facebook feed:

Yes, Mr. Overton said in an interview that he smokes 12 cigars a day and sometimes drinks 4 glasses a whiskey in the morning. God Bless this brother of the leaf. The accolades poured in this week from across cigar social media including:

Maybe we should take up a cigar collection and send this man a lifetime’s worth of smokes….

Nicaragua is Burning

Just when we thought things may have calmed down in Nicaragua, it began heating up again with numerous Facebook and Instagram posts describing and showing what’s going on in the country. Behind all the protests is the theme, President Ortega did not fairly win the last election. The uprising started a month or so ago when the government looked for a way to shore up their crumbling social security system. The result of the decision to raise taxes and reduce benefits sparked the social uprising. It has now turned into daily protests, road blockages, and additional deaths throughout the country.

Many cigar brand owners that have factories, farms, and even family in the country posted updates throughout the week. Here are a few:

Let’s hope something gets worked out soon. Having personally been to the country my heart goes out to all the people that are struggling. Speaking to some in the business there is still fear that the government could nationalize the cigar farms and factories and that would be a stake in the heart of those that spent their livelihood growing and nurturing a business that we all love.

Somoto Tobacco?

You don’t here the word Somoto when it comes to cigars, but there is a quiet town of 20,000 in the Northern Highlands of Nicaragua known as Somoto where they grow coffee and tobacco. I learned about it this week  when Noel Rojas Sabatier posted this week. You may know Noel as the owner of New Order of the Ages (NOA) and Guayacan cigars. Noel has now found some excellent leaf to work with, direct from Somoto. I for one am looking forward to see what is coming.


Steve Saka is looking for his Unicorns

Yes, Steve is back in our weekly Social Media recap. Last week he was teaching us about the mulling room, now he seems to have lost his Muestra de Saka Unicorns, ever since he released them into the wild. I know I have not seen one, but help the brother out and if you captured one, post it on Steve’s timeline so he knows his baby’s are still out there.

Busy Cigar Weekend

There are two big events this Saturday that will celebrate the lifestyle of cigars.

The Drew Estate Florida Barn Smoker – This the 3rd annual production of this event and we all  hope the weather holds out, as it has been a rainy week here in Central Florida. The event will be held on the Florida Sun Grown Tobacco farm in Clermont, FL. Starting at 9 AM. I understand tickets are sold out, but if you ask nicely Corona Cigars may have a few left. Cost is $90.00 and it is expected to be a blast.

The Barn Smoker events was a vision of Jonathan

“to bring people, brands, and local small business to American Tobacco Farms to celebrate the brotherhood + sisterhood of the leaf and to raise awareness of Cigars for Warriors, a 501c3 charity that supports American heroes.”

I plan to be there tomorrow covering this event from start to finish, rain or shine. so look for a future article on this event.

Robert Holt, of Southern Draw Cigars, has been letting everyone of his friends know about biggest “little” event in Texas. The event is known as Best of Boutiques – 2018 and is being hosted by the Cigar Cafe @elitecigarcafe in  Addison, TX . It promises to have the latest, greatest and core blends from some of your favorites, all under one roof. So if you are anywhere near Addison, go check it out and let us know how it went.

OK now, so let’s get to some of the interesting questions being asked on cigar social media:

  • Carl Mintz – a new member of the secret Cigar Smokers Facebook group shared an answer to the question – “What does ‘Fuerte” Mean?”

  • Plasencia Cigars notes on Instagram – Did you know? “When relighting your cigar, your best bet is to relight while it is still warm”
  • Tom Laumann asked in the Cigar Cartel – “Which cigar has the best art work on their bands?” That is a fun question, if you are member of Cigar Cartel you may want to answer that with some photos.

Well, that’s it for the week. As always, feel free to chime in with comments and don’t forget to tune into Kaplowitz Radio every Monday when Kap will dedicate a 10 minute segment, News Powered by Stogie Press, hashing over the past weeks social media news worthy discussions. Kap will put his unique spin on some of these topics so be prepared to ask him questions.

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