Revitalizing cigar smoking


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I have been often asked. "Well what would you (one) do?" I have answered the question many, many times on numerous threads.

Cuba should be a smoking Mecca, should it not? There is a certain group of people who are fascinated with Cuba as a matter of the unique product we call a cigar. I am one such person. For some, Cuba would be nothing more than certain portion of the world geography if it were not for the cigar. While I don't want to be cold about it, those are the facts. I am not Cuban, there is nothing sacred about the place for me! My interest in Cuba is the Cuban cigar.

I would immediately cut the cigar prices on Cuba not less than 50%. The prices should be a bargain, the least expensive place in the world to buy cigars. People should go there, just to buy them, smoke them and learn about them... at least in cases when that is a major interest. I would drop almost all export restrictions. If you wanted to buy and take 25 boxes with you... you should be able to do it. I would adjust that number so that distributors could be protected but I think that some of the price fixing of distributors has got to go to. High prices on the island just contributes to the black market. If the Cubans want to keep more of the money from cigars there at home, then they should simply try to bring tourist there for the joy of cigar smoking amongst the islands other interests.

You should be a able to smoke anywhere in Cuba. With the examining of your passport at customs you should be given an official sample card. That card will allow you to sample one each, a Monte 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 from any official store, just for the asking while visiting Cuba. If you come to Cuba a non cigar smoker, you should leave with at least a new interest in them.

Cuba should be once more the smokers paradise and the world retreat for those suffering from smoking tyranny!!! I have often wondered how much it affected the cigar trade in general when the islands principal stopped smoking cigars himself. I speculate that it had a major influence on the trade when Cuba itself started turning anti-smoking. With the type of government that exists on Cuba, a position where cigar passion is a part of national pride should be easy to obtain once more... if the leaders themselves were again passionate about the cigars they produce.

Just a thought!

-The Pig

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My interest in Cuba is the Cuban cigar.

And Ropa Vieja! My wife's grandmother made the best ropa vieja.

But not to highjack your thread. That was a great post and I agree wholeheartedly. Unfortunately for those of us from the USA, we still have the travel/trade restrictions so we will be late to the utopian party that you are proposing!

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I agree with you, the day will come when im able to go to Cuba for a good look, and i will be taking as many mates as i can.

Its Good to have a goal in life and this is 1 of mine..

Good reading Thanks for that.

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Another great post Mr. Pig, I get the gist of what your trying to put across and I agree. Although it will never ever happen, forums like this allow us to dream!

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Well put Ray. I agree, the main lure of Cuba is the cigar. The rum is excellent too, but "Cuba" and "Cigars" are synonymous. It's in the worlds' zeitgeist. What you propose makes sense, that is hasn't materialized isn't a soley Cuban problem. Many places that are known for some delicacy or another do not deal in volume, they deal in margins. I've been up to Sitka Alaska where king crabs number in the millions and yet every restaurant that ply's them marks the hell up of them. $50USD Alaskan King Crab dinner in Sitka Alaska? No thanks! I can pretty much pay the same price in Toronto and save me the trip and gloomy skies. Cuba and Alaska's economies are quite different but the same principle applies. Cuba it seems makes more money on exporting their cigars than they do on local sales. And I stress the word "seems" as I do not have any numbers to back that up. Only the general impression that there is more money in the export and exports bring in foreign cash in greater quantities. Nonetheless, I agree with your proposal. Sadly it won't happen.

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And don't forget the coffee Piggy!

If I totally agree with you about the restriction on number of cigars you can legally export from the island, I am not so sure about the question of pricing. I certainly would like, as you probably would yourself, that the normal Cuban smoker could have access to the exported products. On the other hand, for tourists like us, to buy in Cuba our favourite vitolas remains a bargain. It would be also good if the proceeds went more to the people who are producing these gems instead of filling the coffers of Habanos SA and the Cuban state.

Now there is also the problem of producing the tobacco itself. The best production grounds seem to be already exploited to their maximum possible output (but am I right here?).

I would appreciate your comments on these points.

Best,

Michel

I have been often asked. "Well what would you (one) do?" I have answered the question many, many times on numerous threads.

Cuba should be a smoking Mecca, should it not? There is a certain group of people who are fascinated with Cuba as a matter of the unique product we call a cigar. I am one such person. For some, Cuba would be nothing more than certain portion of the world geography if it were not for the cigar. While I don't want to be cold about it, those are the facts. I am not Cuban, there is nothing sacred about the place for me! My interest in Cuba is the Cuban cigar.

I would immediately cut the cigar prices on Cuba not less than 50%. The prices should be a bargain, the least expensive place in the world to buy cigars. People should go there, just to buy them, smoke them and learn about them... at least in cases when that is a major interest. I would drop almost all export restrictions. If you wanted to buy and take 25 boxes with you... you should be able to do it. I would adjust that number so that distributors could be protected but I think that some of the price fixing of distributors has got to go to. High prices on the island just contributes to the black market. If the Cubans want to keep more of the money from cigars there at home, then they should simply try to bring tourist there for the joy of cigar smoking amongst the islands other interests.

You should be a able to smoke anywhere in Cuba. With the examining of your passport at customs you should be given an official sample card. That card will allow you to sample one each, a Monte 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 from any official store, just for the asking while visiting Cuba. If you come to Cuba a non cigar smoker, you should leave with at least a new interest in them.

Cuba should be once more the smokers paradise and the world retreat for those suffering from smoking tyranny!!! I have often wondered how much it affected the cigar trade in general when the islands principal stopped smoking cigars himself. I speculate that it had a major influence on the trade when Cuba itself started turning anti-smoking. With the type of government that exists on Cuba, a position where cigar passion is a part of national pride should be easy to obtain once more... if the leaders themselves were again passionate about the cigars they produce.

Just a thought!

-The Pig

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In all fairness....

If the rest of the world enforced their smoking regulations as strictly as Cuba.....we would be in a much better place :yes:

At the time Cuba needed IMF funding and one of the clauses was to sign up with WHO ant smoking clauses. They signed, got the money and promptly forget to enforce the regulations.

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If you wanted to buy and take 25 boxes with you... you should be able to do it.

That's already the case. You can buy as many as you want, the cuban customs will let you go if you have the receipts; the problems will occur when you go through customs of your destination country, whether it's your home country or not…

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Tout a fait juste Smallclub. I got confused between importing and exporting in my previous post.

Best,

Michel

That's already the case. You can buy as many as you want, the cuban customs will let you go if you have the receipts; the problems will occur when you go through customs of your destination country, whether it's your home country or not…

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In all fairness....

If the rest of the world enforced their smoking regulations as strictly as Cuba.....we would be in a much better place :yes:

At the time Cuba needed IMF funding and one of the clauses was to sign up with WHO ant smoking clauses. They signed, got the money and promptly forget to enforce the regulations.

...who wanted to be fair? I am talking leadership.

Mate remember this, an honest comment about the corruption of Cuban leadership next time you quote any data from them as the rationale for what they do!

It seems to me that that the privatized owned portion of H SA gets all the flak for killing off cigars. It appears, as I have preached for many years, no one tells an authoritarian state how to run its business. This is a prime example of it if I have ever heard it.

Yes, we will take your money, no we will not allow you to tell us what to do as a result! So who really thinks that the private portion of H SA has any real say about how the Cubans roll cigars?

Thanks mate... a perfect example of what to expect when you deal with the devil and who is really running things there on Isla Cuba. Some people around here needed to hear it from someone other than me!

-P

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Ray

I know good people on both sides (HSA & Tabacuba) and plenty of arseholes.

I know few who can market.

As I told the guys in Toronto, if you want to know what is deleted look for any box codes available in Qty from 07 today. No business in the world wants to hold onto 4 year old stock.

That doesn't make them bad cigars. Just poorly marketed cigars.

Most of Europe and Asia has shrinking cigar displays due to legislation. Few B&M tobacconists want or can carry RG, SP, LGC etc. Few Duty Free do. There is no going back.

My soultion is to let privateers manufacture LGC/Dip/etc under licence from HSA. We are the few who understand and can revitalise some of the brands.

Without some major surgery they will die.

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Ray

I know good people on both sides (HSA & Tabacuba) and plenty of arseholes.

I know few who can market.

As I told the guys in Toronto, if you want to know what is deleted look for any box codes available in Qty from 07 today. No business in the world wants to hold onto 4 year old stock.

That doesn't make them bad cigars. Just poorly marketed cigars.

Most of Europe and Asia has shrinking cigar displays due to legislation. Few B&M tobacconists want or can carry RG, SP, LGC etc. Few Duty Free do. There is no going back.

My soultion is to let privateers manufacture LGC/Dip/etc under licence from HSA. We are the few who understand and can revitalise some of the brands.

Without some major surgery they will die.

Mate, just start making PC's, Coronas, and Lonsdales out of premium Cuban tobacco and charge me a fair price for them. I don't really give a **** what name is on them, or what kind of box they come in. I am happy buying them from you...

I think it is understood that not all products produced in the same quantities will sell in the same quantities. This is why we have something called inventory control!

For me, I would love to have a few more boxes of the '06 Bolivar Coronas that I bought from you at something like $120 a box! I'll bet that if you had 20 more boxes at that price, they would sell today! Just a guess...

Retail cost is a part of a marketing strategy. Sitting on boxes of cigars at $200 is stupid when you have an option of selling them at $150 and still make a **** pile of moola!

You and I have gone over this ground before... Travel safe my friend. -Ray

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