NEWS FROM THE U.S.A.

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Appealing decision. 

In mid-july, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that General Cigar is the rightful owner of the Cohiba trademark within the US. The Cuban government believed that a changed in law justified the case’s reopening but, after reviewing the facts, the appeals court found that a rehash would be without merit and overturned the ruling by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Cubatabaco first filed suit against General Cigar back in 1997, even though General Cigar has been using the Cohiba name in the US since 1978. 

How About a Nice, Long Smoking Break? 

 In response to a recent Orange County, Florida, smoking ban, tobacconist Jeff Borysiewicz, a member of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association, is displaying the world’s largest cigar in his Orlando store. The new executive order not only bans smoking indoors, but also in any public area or county property. Further, it requires that county employees sign a “tobacco free” affidavit that limits them to only four celebratory cigars a year, violation of which would result in fines or job termination. The humongous cigar is 19 feet long, three feet in diameter, and weighs 1,600 pounds. Borysiewicz makes the argument that, if you are only allowed four cigars a year, they might as well be really big ones. 

Pass the  Vodka; We’ll Drink to This. 

Russia: In a world where politicians claim to be all for improving the lifestyles of their constituents, there is at least one who is speaking out about what’s actually best for his country. In early September, Russia’s Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin publicly opined that, if people ceased to purchase alcohol and tobacco products, the resulting tax burden may well be too much for the country to bear. He further stated that it is Russia’s smokers and drinkers who are helping the most in the raising of money slated for social services. 

Donation + Cultivation = Tobacco Nation. 

Tanzania: While it seems that tobacco farmers in the US are being discouraged from cultivating their crop of choice, Tanzania is taking the opposite approach, as exemplified by Dr. Charles Kimei, managing director of the CRDB Bank. Kimei, after telling Business-Week that he believes his country is capable of becoming a leading producer and exporter of tabacco, donated 20 tractors to the area’s tobacco farmers, whose exports have been steadily increasing over the last three years. He also urged that the processing of future crops be done within Tanazania, where additional jobs would help to end some of the poverty in the country. 

Caution: Kids at Display.  

Scotland: Shopkeepers are at odds with the powers that be over the rules of tabacco-products’ visibility in retail locations where shoppers under the age of 18 are present. With the new law forbidding the items’ prominent display, retailers are expressing their many concerns via a tobacco Retailers Alliance survey. One such issue is the likelihood of increased black-market sales to underage smokers. Asserting that most minors obtain tobacco products from of-age friends or family members, Alliance spokeswoman fiona Barrett believes that the best way to prevent this is not to limit retailers, but to instead enforce stiff penalties for adults purchasing these items for anyone under 18 years old. 

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