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News Roundup: Cigars in Congress, Carnival Cruise Cigar Ban, Q2 Financials and Other Miscellany

Could Congress Ban Cigar Sales Online?

The Huffington Post reports on the Congressional Cigar Association, an affiliation of U.S. Congress members and lobbyists that appears to violate ethics rules. With the way the country is being run we’re not sure any of our lawmakers deserve to celebrate with a stogie, but we certainly wouldn’t knock the idea of cigars bringing people together to accomplish things in a casual environment.

What is concerning is the prospect of back-door deals between lobbyists and government officials. Yeah, it happens every day, but you’d think such a blatant display of pandering to special interests would be swiftly swept under the rug. As it stands, both the Congress members and lobbyists are being defiant over calls to stop this smoky rendezvous. The silver lining is that these events gave members of the cigar industry an opportunity to lobby powerful Capitol Hill staffers. It may sound hypocritical to condemn the ethics of such a practice in the same breath as lauding the cigar industry for playing ball, but politics is never black and white.

In other cigar news, Carnival cruise ships are experimenting with cigar bans on some of their ships. In an ironic move that’s got the Web abuzz, they’re banning cigar smoking in their cigar bars. Apparently, one must walk through the cigar bar to get to the internet cafe, so they’re making cigar smoking rules more restrictive. They tried out a new policy with limits stogies to just a few areas of the ship, and are currently evaluating the results. Jeez, way to take the fun out of a vacation. I think I’ll stick to my canoe.

Some Q2 financial reports came out today, and mass-market cigars are looking good across the board. Swedish Match saw their gas-station sticks fly off the shelves while Altria reported that the already-ubiquitous Black & Milds were expanding in popularity. Whatever.

On the cigar blog front, the Stogie Guys exclaim “What the Culebra?” over the triple-headed stogie monster that few understand and even fewer have smoked. We learn it’s not that scary at all.

Finally, congratulations to General Cigar who are celebrating their 50th Anniversary with a 10-city cigar tour. We plan on stopping by to get a few freebies, maybe we’ll see you there.