Thousands of Counterfeit Cohibas Seized by General Cigar Company
Most of the information that I cover in this blog is limited to reviews of cigars, humidors, and thedispensation of practical advice regarding the wonderful world of cigars. However, many cigar smokers are unaware of how serious the problem of counterfeit cigars seriously is. A recent press
release by Business Wire revealed that more than 3,000 counterfeit Cohiba cigars were recentlyseized off of the coast of Florida. These cigars had a street value of more than $60,000.00 U.S. dollars.
The seizure of these cigars, which prevented them from making their way into the humidors of cigaraficionados, was trumpeted as a decisive victory in General Cigar’s attempt to fight counterfeiting of their products. Working in conjunction with federal and state officials and prosecutors, General Cigar Co. plans to bring those who are responsible for this contraband to justice. Personally, upon reading this new release, I felt overjoyed. General Cigar Co. Cohibas are the only cigars from this brand that you can legally obtain in the United States for your humidors. It goes without saying that these cigars are pretty enjoyable as well. However, reading this article made me wonder just how many counterfeit cigars an individual comes across, especially on such a large scale. Upon further investigation, what I found truly surprised me.
As I began reading various articles on counterfeit cigars, I discovered that in 2009, more than 18 brands of counterfeit Cuban cigars and 4 brands of Dominican Republic cigars were seized. All in all, the street value of the cigars seized alone in 2009 amounted to nearly 1 million dollars. I can only imagine how many cigars smokers paid $20.00 per cigar, only to be disappointed by the quality of the cigar that they were smoking. Who knows how many counterfeit cigars were slipped into the United States undetected?
How do you manage to tell a counterfeit cigar from the genuine item? Much of your discernment will come with time and experience. However, the number one manner of protecting yourself from counterfeits is to purchase your cigars from reputable sources only. The price of a cigar can also be an indicator. For example, if you see a “Cuban” cigar that should be selling for $50.00 a stick, priced at only $10.00, the chances are that you’re dealing with a forgery. Another giveaway is the appearance and construction of the cigar. Often times, counterfeit cigars will not be uniform in color. The wrapper leaf can also be quite veiny and rough in texture and appearance.
So big congratulations should be extended to General Cigar Co. for the excellent work they are doing in protecting their clientele. For my fellow cigar aficionados, I believe that it is important for us as a collective to take steps to educate ourselves about how to identify counterfeit cigars, so that we do not unwittingly assist these unscrupulous individuals. After all, the confidence in our ability to enjoy a good cigar is something that we hold dearly.
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