27 July, 2007

More on the Tobacco Taxes...

According to Market Watch, the House is considering a smaller increase in the possible tobacco tax. They are looking at increasing the tax rate on large cigars to almost 45% of the manufacturer's price, and cap the tax at $1 per stick. The possiblity of an increase, even as minimal as $1, will have far reaching effects. Within the United States, Florida would be hit the hardest. Cigar Manufacturers Association of Tampa estimates that 80% of all cigars sold in the U.S. are produced in Florida or imported there. The countries that produce our favorite smokes would also feel the effect of this tax. The Dominican Republic, which imported an estimated 540 million large cigars, would be hit the hardest.

Closer home, many of the 2,500 specialist tobacco shops in the U.S. would feel the pain. Mostly consisting of mom-and-pop type operations, small tobacconists would see their already minimal margins go down the tube. Even the smaller tax increase now being considered would be difficult to take on. Lew Rothman, president of 800-Jr Cigar Inc., said substantial tax hikes could disrupt sales enough to put a lot of the smaller tobacconists with few resources out of business. "It's sort of a a retirement type job," said Rothman, "these people are not peopel with tremendous business sense. I think we could survive, a lot of people would not." Mr. Rothman is correct. Think about it, as a cigar smoker what's your ideal buying situation? Would you rather have the cold and sterile experience of ordering all your cigars online? Or is it nice to have the option to go down to your local tobacconists, BS with the guys sitting in the lounge for awhile, browse the walk-in humidor (possibly coming across a brand new smoke or getting a great recommendation), and a finally making a purchase which supports the local economy?

To me, this is an easy decision. As many of you, I work in front of a computer all week. Yes, it is nice and convenient to order online, but there are not many experiences that beat walking into a local tobacconists, smelling the cigars and pipes, and actually holding a really nice smoke in my hands before buying. Is it just me, or is that one of life's great experiences?

If you want to help, check out
RTDA's online petition and email program to shut this down.

Thanks and have a great weekend all,

26 July, 2007

The Exclusive Tatuaje Has Arrived!

They're in and they're delicious!
Grant's Tobacconists is proud to present Tatuaje's latest creation, the Havana VI Verocru. Pete Johnson, creator of the Tatuaje brand, is taking a page out of the Cuban manufacturers' book and releasing two regional versions of the Verocru. The west coast release is the Exclusivo Lado Occidental (west side), Verocru No. 1. Coming in with ring gauge of 52 and a length of 6 1/4", this Toro Grande is sure to please your palette. This new smoke is blended by Don Pepin exclusively for Tatuaje and rolled in Nicaragua using only the finest local tobacco. With a Cafe Rosado Oscuro wrapper, this tasty cigar includes ligero tobacco in the blended filler, giving a more robust flavor than the rest of the more medium bodied Havana VI line.

Grant's is offering this exclusive smoke by the stick (2 max per order) and it is also included in the Tatuaje Havana VI Gift Set. If you are an avid Tatuaje fan or simply curious to check out the Tatuaje experience, this gift set is a great opportunity. Five great smokes including the Angeles (petite corona), Nobles (robusto), Almirantes (Churchill), Artistas (torpedo) and of course the west coast exclusive Lado Occidental will make up this great deal!

We we're lucky enough to sample both varities of the cigar. They are both great smokes that will be sure to please. If you get a chance to pick up the east coast version, do so!

We'll be posting a review soon of the west coast exclusive soon!


25 July, 2007

Your Help Is Needed!

The industry has been going crazy in trying to fight yet another tax hike on tobacco. All our favorite blogs have multiple entries on the subject, it's been a subject of news articles, television news, and letter writing from some of our favorite manufacturers. Tonight, we're sad to report that activity is moving fast and furious on the pending SCHIP bill. The House of RepresentativesThe Shakedown! Ways and Means Committee is in the process of drafting legislation today and tomorrow that would increase cigar taxes by 115% from the current 20.7% to 44.6% and raise the cap 1,952% from $.04875 to $1.00 per cigar. While this is some improvement over the Senate version (thanks to all the calls and emails you sent the first time), this additional tax is still way too much - it would increase your retail prices by as much as 70%. A cigar that retails for $4.50, for instance, would retail for $7.50.

There is speculation that the Democratic leadership wants to try to pass the SCHIP bill before the August 3 recess so that the Democrats can add it to their list of achievements before they go home to face their constituents. If the House and Senate enact legislation before August 3, a conference committee is likely to meet in September to resolve the differences between the two measures. A consensus on the two different bills must be reached before the legislation is forwarded to the White House. We still understand that President Bush has threatened to veto the legislation.

SCHIP...what is it?

State Children's Health Insurance Program. SCHIP is a national program in the United States designed for families who earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid, yet cannot afford to buy private insurance. The program was created to address the growing problem of children in the United States without health insurance. We definitely feel that this is a valid program that does a lot of good for a lot of kids, we feel that there's better ways to go about funding this program instead of increasing the burden on a truly mom & pops industry.

What Does This All Mean?

This means, small shops will suffer, We need to act immediately! Call, email or write a letter to congress! The RTDA has made the process extremely simple by including a locator to find who you should contact and talking points to include in your email. We here at Grant's are making it easy and beneficial for you to exercise your rights. Through August 1st, we'll have petitions for you to sign in our store. Anybody who signs the petition will receive a 15% discount off of your purchase.

Act now!

Tell my Congressmen NO!

Tell the Ways & Means Committee Chairman NO!

Or write and/or call him:

Charles B. Rangel, NY

New York Office

163 West 125th Street, Suite #737

New York, NY 10027

Phone: (212) 663-3900

Fax: (212) 663-4277


19 July, 2007

Welcome to Grant's Gazette!

Hi all. Welcome to Grant's Gazette, the online outlet for Grant's Tobacconist, the oldest tobacco retailer in San Francisco. For those of you who are new, we are located smack-dab in the middle of the financial district, in downtown San Francisco. We offer a wide selection of pipes, tobacco, cigars (we have San Francisco's largest walk-in humidor), and accessories. To find out more about our history, store, events, news and more, check out our website.

At Grant's Gazette, you'll find reviews, news, event updates and photos, deals, and much more. We'll be updating often, so be sure to check back with us!

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