The fight over the proposed park and beach ban in New York City continued, the IPCPR issued its own statement here. In addition, the loophole that has allowed many cigarette makers to reclassify their product as “small cigars” is drawing scrutiny. More news after the jump.

Another hurdle in the merger between Scandinavian Tobacco and Swedish Match cleared, this one in New Zealand. For those that don’t know, the merger would place General Cigar Co.’s domestic brands (Cohiba, Macanudo, Punch, Partagas, La Gloria Cubana, etc), CAO and JR Cigars under the same roof. The deal was announced early in the year and is still being finalized. In other large merger news, there’s a bit of speculation over a takeover of Imperial Tobacco Group. This would be key as Imperial owns Altadis (makers of a lot of non-Cuban Cuban labels such as Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta and H. Upmann) and a fifty-percent stake in Habanos S.A. The factory that once made Hamlet cigars was demolished.

Montecristo will be adding a lounge in Tennessee, this brings the total to 17 in the states. Ernesto Padilla revealed sketches of the band for his new project, Artemis. Stogie Review interviewed Ernesto and he revealed a bit about the new project, including premium B&M only cigar, released mid to late October, four sizes and uses of aged Cuban-seed tobacco.

Maldonado Cigars launched their newest cigar, The Mogul, press release below:

The Maldonado Dynasty – In our short existence, the brand name is reaching across the U.S. Luxury market, to cities like Miami and Beverly Hills. The cigar industry has strongly embraced the label with press support from The Examiner that reaches from Miami to San Francisco and gaining recognition from publications focused on affluence and leisure.
Paul Maldonado FOUNDER – is a world traveler, inspired and driven by his love of premium cigars, leisure, elegance and all things luxury. His goal was to give Beverly Hills its own cigar line and build Maldonado into a worldwide luxury brand. He utilizes his experience as a director/producer in all creative marketing campaigns to build Maldonado into what it is quickly becoming-an elite luxury brand. Destiny was inevitable, Paul studied abroad for high school attending Santiago Christian School in the mecca of the cigar movement of the Dominican Republic.

As we continue to grow into the future, we are looking to build strong relationships with The St. Regis and Aston Martin who boast uncanny reputations in the world Luxury market. As well as HauteOC who focuses on the affluent world travel.

The Maldonado Dynasty commemorates the exclusive premier of our premium cigar at our signature Maldonado Black and White Jazz Affair. The Jazz Affair is a formal event that brings the sophisticated world class elegance of Monte Carlo to each of our destinations, including Miami, NYC, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Shanghai and Paris. The classy evenings are filled with live jazz, flowing champagne, dancing, casino, and Maldonado cigars.

Our premium cigars are bold and full of complex flavors, blending only the finest of leafs from countries like the Dominican Republic, Africa, U.S., Ecuador and Nicaragua. Our cigars are hand rolled in the Dominican Republic by Cubans, which are famous for their cigar making skills.

We have completed the Maldonado signature Men’s fragrance line to be released in early 2011, after nearly a year of development. It will premier along with our second premium cigar blend early next year.

Maldonado is very much committed to giving back, therefore as part of the Maldonado Black and White Jazz Affair, we have partnered up with charity foundations like Make-A-WIsh from the Texas Gulf Coast and Louisiana chapter. Maldonado will be granting the wish of Zoe B., a 3-year-old girl, she suffers from Ewings Sacoma.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.