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Punch Cigars Tax Relief promotion bucks federal tax increase on premium cigars

Richmond, VA - Cigar smokers across the U.S. will heed the call of Mr. Punch®, the premium cigar category's one-and-only pot-bellied, trash-talking character by redeeming Punch Tax Relief coupons for free Punch Honduran cigars at participating cigar shops, beginning today.

Created in response to the recent increase in the federal excise tax on large premium cigars, the Punch Tax Relief promotion will drive cigar smokers exclusively to brick and mortar tobacco shops to receive a free handcrafted Punch cigar with the purchase of regularly-priced Punch cigars. The approximate value of each free Punch cigar is $4.00 to $5.00.

Rick Chandler, director of marketing for Punch cigars comments, "The Mr. Punch character has long been positioned as a sarcastic spokesperson promoting the rights of the cigar smoker. It was only fitting that we gave him voice to air his grievances and show a bit of defiance in response to the increased taxation on premium cigars."

An email rant from Mr. Punch, in which the snarky puppet refers to the tax as "an insidious plot against Punch smokers," will be distributed via email to thousands of cigar aficionados across the U.S. and will be blasted out to top cigar bloggers and posted on select cigar-centric discussion boards. Those who respond to the email will be directed to the Punch Tax Relief website, where they can register for a buy-two-Punch-cigars, get-one-free coupon. The offer applies to all Punch brand cigars and can be redeemed at participating tobacco retail stores nationwide until July 4, 2009.

Chandler continues, "We're harnessing the power of new media like never before to maximize our reach to consumers. We expect that having Mr. Punch speak to premium cigar consumers by email will drive a record number of cigar smokers to tobacco shops to redeem the coupons. Further, we feel the Punch Tax Relief promotion will set the stage for exciting new social media promotions featuring Mr. Punch in the near future."

Punch, Punch Deluxe, Punch Grand Cru, Punch Rare Corojo, and Punch Gran Puro, are registered trademarks of General Cigar Co. Inc.

Source: Cigar Advisor