Why is Cuban Cigar Illegal in America?

February 15, 2024

Cuban cigars are the most well-known of all premium tobacco products and for good reason. For over 500 years, the island of Cuba has been able to create ideal conditions for growing some of the best wrapper leaves and cigar tobacco around. This is thanks to the terroir, which is rich in nutrients such as magnesium, calcium and iron, that help give the cigars their legendary taste and aroma.

Cubans are passionate about their products and it's clear that the cigar is much more than a simple product for them. It is a cultural experience and a way of life that is celebrated in cigar bars and at annual conventions like Cigar Lovers Paradise. But, despite all the hype, cigar enthusiasts in America still can't enjoy authentic Cuban cigars legally.

The US embargo on Cuba was set up in 1962 by President John F Kennedy as a means of imposing sanctions against the communist regime headed by Fidel Castro. This ban prevents Americans from importing any Cuban products into the country, including cigars. Although the embargo was loosened slightly during the Obama administration, the current rules say that American citizens can bring back no more than 100 cigars for personal use.

This limit doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon. In fact, the Trump administration has recently tightened up the rules and made it harder for Americans to legally bring back Cuban cigars even when they are overseas in a country that allows it. Those who break the rules risk hefty fines and possibly prison time.

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