Tobacconist University to Release Second Edition of Handbook in Spring 2020 (Update)


One of the industry’s most notable resources will be getting an update next spring.

Over the weekend, it was announced that the current first edition of The Tobacconist Handbook will be going out of print over the coming weeks, and that it will be replaced by a second edition in the spring of 2020. The organization called the new version “an expanded and enhanced edition at a much lower price,” with Jorge L. Armenteros telling halfwheel that the book will include a new section on public policy and consumer activism as well as a greatly expanded glossary, new additions to the cigar myths section, a new cigar pairing section, an outline of Certified Cigar Review methodology, enhanced photos and graphics and more updated sections.


The inaugural edition of the book was written by Armenteros and released in 2009 as a resource for cigar retailers and consumers to expand their knowledge of premium tobacco, from the growing process through to a finished cigar or pipe tobacco. Containing 228 pages, some described it as the premium cigar industry’s textbook, as it set the foundation for Tobacconist University’s Certified Retail Tobacconist (CRT) program, which aimed to verify that retailers and their employees had the proper knowledge and an adherence to a code of ethics and standards necessary for the premium tobacco industry.

Tobacconist University has since expanded their certifications to include Certified Consumer Tobacconist, Certified Sommelier Tobacconist, Certified Salesforce Tobacconist, and Certified Master Tobacconist.

Armenteros said that the second edition will be available as a hardcover in its first run as well as a digital version that will be custom designed for digital readers, including photos, layouts and links. “This will be a huge improvement since the original book was not originally intended for digital readers,” he said. It will also get a new look and be slightly larger. As for the price, Armenteros said the new Hardcover will be half the price of the old paperback, with a paperback version priced even cheaper. He said that the publisher will be wholesaling the book domestically and internationally.

“After ten years it is extremely exciting to drive the price of the book down and increase the quality,” Armenteros said. “The book will continue to be a distillation of our academic curriculum and substantive enough to get our tobacconists through the final exam; part of the reason we originally published The Tobacconist Handbook was because many people wanted a physical document to read rather than going through the online curriculum.

While the hardcover edition is no longer available, the paperback version of the first edition of the Tobacconist University Handbook remains available via Amazon for $48.49. Armenteros expects the second edition to be fully available by June 2020, around Father’s Day.

Update (Dec. 8, 2019) — added additional details about the book and quotes from Jorge Armenteros.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

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, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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