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Global Implications of FDA Regulations by Brandon

As the date for the public comment period’s end draws ever so close I can’t help but wonder what the impact of the FDA’s goals of regulating premium cigars could be. With the talk of minimum prices, blend approval, and other red tape for manufacturers you have to know that if they get their way there will be major impacts not just on the consumer and retailer in the United States but globally. The cigar world is an industry that stretches from one corner of the world to another. Surely the FDA isn’t blind to that, are they?

There are so many countries involved in the tobacco industry outside of the U.S. The obvious ones are Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Ecuador, but also keep in mind Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cameroon, and Panama. With all these I’m sure I have managed to miss at least 10 others. If all of theses countries are impacted with just a minor loss of export income the results could be far worse than we can imagine given that in some of theses countries tobacco export is a source of massive income. Equate this to the China loosing electronics as an export to the U.S.

This is not to say that these countries will stop making and exporting cigars, just that the process of getting them to us may change or even stop. There is still a large cigar market in Europe and Asia and they will buy, but we Americans are a huge part of the market share. Those who still sell here will be forced to raise prices either because of FDA approval processes or because of a terrible definition of a premium cigar being based on price. That $7 Undercrown may now retail for $15, or that $15 Padron could go to $25. I’m going to assume that this will impact your cigar smoking just like it will mine, I only wish I could afford to enjoy my hobby the same way at those prices. You also may start seeing sales of cigars from Nicaragua or Dominican Republic pop up online from overseas retailers in China or Switzerland much the same as Habanos S.A. products from Cuba. Wouldn’t that be interesting to have your box of Quesada’s confiscated by customs agents?

Since we have opened the topic of “black market” purchases, you have to wonder as well if that will have an impact on the sale of Cuban cigars. If you are going to order cigars illegally at a more than likely high price, why not just order some Juan Lopez #2’s and call it good. If this starts to happen then we bring the global impact to Cuba too. It would be very tough to tell if it would be a positive or negative outcome for Cuba as we could never tell if they would actually up production just to keep up with illegal sales or let the market sell out then work from behind the 8ball and let quality and standards fall. You have to think that if they keep up and this has positive implications for Cuba that the U.S. govt would not be happy about their own ruling have a positive monetary affect on a communist regime that their very own regulations are designed to hurt.

I feel that this just touches the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the global impact that the proposed FDA regulations. The White House has already said that this would hurt American businesses so it is only logical to assume the rest of the cigar world would follow. With the short time we have left, if you haven’t let the FDA know that you want them to keep their hands off of premium cigars you need to act immediately. Please us this link, http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA-2014-N-0189-20870, to leave public comment. Be precise with your comments and make sure to read the document, there are a lot of jobs in many countries that are counting on you!

-Brandon K.
brandon@thecigarnut.com

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One thought on “Global Implications of FDA Regulations by Brandon

  1. Alex Scarsella

    We can’t sit around and do nothing ! Great article!

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