United Cigars has announced that it is adding a new secondary foot band to its Atabey line in an attempt to combat counterfeiting.

“Over the last year we have heard whispers of counterfeit or unbanded Atabeys” said Oliver Nivaud of United Cigars via a press release. “Regretfully, these whispers have turned into a reality and a few mislead consumers have felt the effects. Atabey is hand-rolled in Costa Rica and every cigar adorns the highly detailed Atabey band.”

The bands are being made by Vrijdag Premium Printing in the Netherlands, which also produces the primary Atabey bands as well as all bands from Selected Tobacco including Byron and Bandolero. The bands are made with a distinctive gold process feature, which is more difficult to counterfeit, the company says.

The new bands will begin showing up at retail soon, as going forward all Atabey cigars imported into the U.S. will have the additional band. “Atabey has never been released without its distinctive band nor are there any plans for this,” said Nivaud.

“We have taken extensive measures to stop any and all attempts of counterfeiting of our cigars” stated Nelson Alfonso, owner of Selected Tobacco, adding that the company will pursue all attempts to counterfeit its cigars to the furthest extent of the law.

United Cigars is asking consumers and retailers who purchase Atabey Cigars without a band or with any other misleading packaging to contact the company directly, either by calling United Cigars at 603.404.0016 or by e-mail at [email protected]

Image courtesy of United Cigars.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.