On this web-site, I continually try to generate some additional awareness for legislation that affects us as cigar enthusiasts. Perhaps this post represents the most important political action item I have posted to date.
You probably are aware of the FDA’s intent to regulate the cigar industry and lump cigars in with cigarettes. This is not new news. The good news is – House Resolution 1639 has been put in proposed by U.S. Representatives Bill Posey (chief patron) of Florida, Ken Calvert of California, Kathy Castor of Florida, Tom Cole of Oklahoma and Candice Miller of Michigan. The intent of this resolution – keep the FDA out of the business of regulating cigars. The problem is that the FDA is trying to lump premium cigars should be lumped in with cigarettes. They also have it in their mind that cigar marketing is aimed at children.
The impacts of such a regulation will affect every aspect of the cigar industry from seed to store. As Glynn Loope, Executive Director for the Cigar Rights of America points out, the impacts can include:
- No more walk in humidors – just like in Canada
- 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
- And price impact due to new fees on manufacturers. This, is the short list.
I encourage you to check out the CRA Action Alert to contact your local leglislators and ask them to support HR 1639.
By the way, a friendly reminder – the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue signed into law giving the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products. Don’t forget this when you go and vote – especially if he doesn’t support the HR 1639 legislation.