Though heads of state have sought out and smoked Cuban cigars throughout the centuries, the island’s revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, is perhaps most closely linked with the coveted smoke. After taking power in 1959 until he gave up cigars 26 years later, Castro was rarely photographed without a cigar.
UPDATE: As of October 2016, you can now bring back up to 100 cigars (worth up to $800) duty-free every 31 days!
The $100 limit on Cuban cigars legally imported to the United States can put a heck of a crimp in your style if you’re a lover of fine Cuban smokes. Brands like Cohibas go for about $25 apiece and even a single Montecristo No. 2 costs about $10. But there are cigars available for just a few bucks each that will allow you to bring home a whole Cuban cigars box.
The fate of Cuban cigars in America and, indeed, all premium cigars in the U.S. is caught up in a political struggle over e-cigarettes and other forms of tobacco not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
As the industry awaits the FDA’s so-called “deeming” regulations, which we explained in-depth previously, a Congressional committee recently adopted a legislative provision that would ease the regulations’ impact on premium cigars, e-cigarettes, hookah tobacco and additional tobacco products.
We’ll bet you didn’t know it was illegal for Americans to smoke Cuban cigars even in foreign countries. That’s OK. Because now it’s not.
On Tuesday, the Obama Administration announced several changes to rules governing the U.S. embargo on Cuban trade. One of the changes allows Americans to buy or otherwise acquire “Cuban-origin goods for personal consumption while in a third country.”