It was the public relations move the premium cigar industry was most in need of as Rocky Patel, owner and founder of Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, was a guest on Tucker Carlson Tonight. It was the opportunity to take the cigar industry’s battle with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to a wider audience.
While he only had just under four minutes to explain the issues, Patel made the most of his important mainstream platform, hitting the impacts of the regulations in a rapid fire mode. While readers of Cigar Coop might be very aware of these points, this might have been the first time that mainstream America was hearing this.
- Arbitrary and capricious nature of the FDA regulations
- Congress never intended to regulate premium cigars and had intended to regulate smokeless and cigarettes
- The one-size-fits-all approach the FDA has employed with all types of tobacco when regulating premium cigars
- The FDA not taking the time to understand the nature of the premium cigars
- The family and cottage industry nature of the premiumcigar industry
- Average cigar smoker is not addicted to the product, smoking one cigar per month on an average
- Premium handmade cigars are a luxury item (drawing comparisons to single malt Scotch and fine wine)
- Premium handmade cigars are not marketed to children
- It takes four to five years to go from the time a tobacco seedling is planted until a cigar is boxed and sent to a retailer
- The regulations levied against premium cigars are so burdensome, it has implemented de-facto prohibition
- The fact that the FDA regulations on premium cigars could affect 70% of the manufacturers and brands and 50% of the retailers
- The warning label regulations
- The legislative bills for the premium cigar exemption as well as the Omnibus.
- The Lawsuit the industry has filed against the FDA
Both Carlson and Patel noted the regulations were put in place by the Obama Administration. Patel said that most likely the Trump Administration is not aware of the regulations the premium cigar industry faces.
The video of the segment is below:
The audio of the segment from Tucker Carlson Tonight is below:
I also broke down what this segment meant on an installment for Prime Cuts: