Tampa, FL - Hav-A-Tampa Cigar plant will close at the end of August..

August 6, 2009 - The Tampa, Florida area will lose part of its cigar heritage in late August when Hav-A-Tampa shuts its factory near Seffner and lays off about 495 employees, closing a factory that has been operating since 1902.
Altadis USA, which owns Hav-A-Tampa will continue to make the Hav-A-Tampa brand in Puerto Rico, Altadis was acquired by Imperial Tobacco in February 2008.

Florida has long been the hub of U.S. cigar making. In the 1890s, much of the nation's cigars were rolled in Tampa by Cuban immigrants. In the 1960s, another wave of Cubans with cigar expertise opened up smaller shops in Miami after Fidel Castro's communist revolution.

The company couldn't cope with a steep drop in consumer demand brought on by the recession and a large new tax on tobacco products. The tax increase was a result of funding the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), a federal program that provides health insurance to low-income children. It is funded in part by a new federal tax on cigars and cigarettes. Previously, federal excise taxes on cigars were limited to no more than a nickel, said Norman Sharp, president of the Cigar Association of America trade group. The tax increase, which took effect April 1, raises the maximum tax on cigars to about 40 cents, Sharp said. Before the increase was passed, the cigar industry warned that consumption of cigars could fall as much as 30 percent in the year after its passage. It's not clear yet how big of an impact the law is having on sales, Sharp said.

As of July 1, 2009 Florida's new cigarette tax is $1.34 per pack. An equivalent increase applies to smokeless and pipe tobacco, but not cigars.

Reference: Cigar maker closing factory by Michael Sasso, Tampa Tribune, Fla., 6/24/2009.



September 16, 2009 at 11:40 AM

yes you are right Florida is consider as the hub of US cigar market. i always prefer to buy cigar that is marked tampa. great company indeed. we are proud of it.