On April 26, 2010, December 20, 2010, July 7, 2011, and again on February 13, 2012 the U.S. Food & Drug Administration publicly posted their intent to regulate cigars in the Federal Register, so it is incumbent upon the cigar enthusiasts of the United States to voice their opposition to any proposed new regulation of premium/traditional cigars by the United States Government.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration answers to one boss – The White House. Now that tens of thousands of this nation’s cigar enthusiasts have voiced their opposition to Congress, it’s time to send a message to the Office of the President. It’s time for President Obama to tell the FDA – “Stay out of America’s humidors!”
H.R. 1639 has been filed in the U.S. House of Representatives; and a companion bill, Senate Bill 1461, has been filed in the Senate. Both are filed under the banner of the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act . This bi-partisan legislation would decree that premium/traditional cigars should be off limits to FDA regulation and, ‘to clarify the Food & Drug Administration’s jurisdiction’ in the ‘sale, manufacturing and distribution of traditional and premium cigars.’
Such legislation could have a profound impact on protecting the industry, from the fields and factories of Central America , to the supply-chain throughout this nation, to the community tobacconist, to enjoying a cigar in the local shop, club or back porch.
With over 85,000 American jobs associated with the premium/traditional cigar business, this is an issue of economic stability for thousands of Main Street America small businesses. The community tobacconist is an institution that spans the history of the nation. The federal government has no business threatening them with new regulations, user fees, and efforts that smack nothing short of modern day prohibition.
We can assure you, nothing could rip the soul of the cigar industry apart, like FDA actions. For example, some of the (again) hypothetical possibilities, but that are not beyond the realm of reason include: No more walk in humidors (Canadian model); Limits on advertising and promotions; Banning the very word cigar or tobacco; Manufacturers having to submit blends to FDA for “testing,” before heading to your local shop – imagine the impact on boutique cigar makers; Adverse impact on flavored tobacco products that are made for adults; And price impact due to new fees on manufacturers. This, is the short list.