Tobacco Products Association

The Tobacco Products Association (TPA), a unique organization, has been launched. TPA stands out by uniting members from both the cigar and pipe industries, and its mission is to promote and advance all facets of the tobacco industry through education, advocacy, and collaboration.

The genesis for the TPA concept came from the Chicagoland Pipe Collectors Club, where a need was identified to advocate for both the cigar and pipe communities. One of the founding members is Ron Pecorini. Pecorini is best known as the Founder and co-host of the Great Cigar and Pipe Podcast. Pecorini also serves as the Vice President of the Chicagoland Pipe Club and the Director for its 2024 show. He and four other cigar members are the founders and initial board of the TPA. The members include:

  • Ismael Olivan, BAMF Cigars
  • Ron Pecorini, Great Cigar and Pipe Show, Chicagoland Pipe Club
  • Dr. Oscar Rodriguez, GTO Dominican Cigars
  • Fouad Kashouty, Hiram & Solomon Cigars
  • Ken Dorrbecker, KJD Cigars

The TPA will not assign titles to the board, and it will work in a collaborative process.

It seems that there may be some similarities with the Boutique Cigar Association (BCA). While Cigar Coop heard negative feedback from two BCA members at the 2024 PCA Trade Show, TPA is following its own path. Ismael Olivian told Cigar Coop, “We are Tobacco Products, not just Cigars. We are not here to compete with anyone but to help everyone grow. Same as there is Ford, and hundreds of others vehicles manufactures and 17,000 brands of cigars around the world and no one complains about it. All of us need different choices in life, I mean in every aspect from food, clothing, etc. and an association it is not the exception to the [rule] book.”

The Tobacco Products Association has already said it is collaborating with SOTL Global Movement and Tobacconist University to offer educational courses, certifications, and webinars. It also works with these partnerships to strengthen the organization’s advocacy efforts. In the future, TPA will focus on guiding companies through the various regulatory challenges faced by the cigar and pipe industry.

The organization is also looking to host regional events in various host cities. TPA is also planning to negotiate exclusive deals and promotions for its members.

For the first 90 days, TPA is offering a “Founders Gift” membership for the first full year. This will provide the first year membership at a discounted $100.00 rate. The idea is to grow the membership base quickly during the early stages. Consumers can also join for $50.00 a year. Membership benefits that come with Consumer membership are forthcoming.