Are Cuban Cigars Legal in the U.S.?

The Updated Legalities for Cuban Cigars in the U.S

Cuban cigars for sale
Cuban cigars may not be illegal too much longer. Holger Leue/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

Cuban cigars are now legal in the United States when it comes to traveling abroad and bringing them back into the country. However, if U.S. citizens attempt to buy or sell Cuban cigars within the U.S., they may be subject to fines and other penalties, depending on the particular circumstances outlined below.

Cuban Cigar Legalities for at Home and Abroad

According to the Robb Report, the new guidelines for Cuban cigars mandate that the cigars you bring back from your trip have to be for personal consumption and not for any type of reselling purposes. In addition to this, there are still U.S. customs regulations that you must adhere to when traveling, which outline not to bring back more than one hundred cigars from your trip. Prior to the new regulations; American citizens were unable to buy or smoke Cuban cigars while traveling abroad, despite there not being many practical ways to enforce the old restriction.

Although the ban has been lifted, cigar smokers who want to try a Cuban cigar may do so in Cuba and in additional countries while traveling. For example, Canada and Mexico are not very far from many American cities, and those who are planning a Caribbean cruise will find Cuban cigars for sale on many of the islands. There is, however, a problem with counterfeit Cuban cigars being sold to American tourists. To improve the chances of getting the real thing, make your purchase from a reputable cigar store, and not one of the many street vendors that you will see near the port. Do not buy any more cigars that you intend to smoke while abroad.

The Forbidden Fruit

In general, Cuban cigars are the best in the world. However, a particular Dominican, Honduran or Nicaraguan cigar can taste better than a particular Cuban cigar. Being Cuban does not automatically make a cigar great, but it does make it the forbidden fruit, and therefore, desirable to some cigar connoisseurs. There are so many great cigars in this world, more than one person can ever sample.

Top Legal Cigars: The Best and Just as Expensive

Expect to pay as much for top Dominican and Nicaraguan cigars as you would pay for many mediocre Cuban cigars. The best Dominican cigar available, although very expensive and extremely rare, is arguably the Fuente Fuente Opus X. The Padron 1926 could be considered the best cigar from Nicaragua. Depending on your individual taste, these cigars will top just about any Cuban cigar if you are searching for an alternative around a similar price point.

Keep on Top of the New Rules

Stay updated with the new rules on Cuban cigars. The embargo is still in place which prevents people and businesses from selling cigars in the U.S. Despite this rule, you can give Cuban cigars away as gifts to your friends and family and have an unlimited amount of goods you can purchase in Cuba.