On Thursday, April 24, 2014 the future of the premium cigar industry, and the ability of customers to choose to enjoy premium cigar products, may have changed forever. In fact, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration was granted regulatory authority over tobacco products, including Cigars.
We have until August 8th to submit Comments to the FDA in regards with the proposed regulations.
If regulated, the proposed rules include:
- Only Cigars over $10 will be defined as Premium Cigars
- The potential for millions of dollars in new 'user fees' imposed on the industry;
- Corporate registration with the FDA;
- Labeling requirements for manufacturers;
- Submission of ingredients and testing requirements;
- Bans on samples for consumers;
- Pre-market federal review before issuing new cigars; So no more limited/special editions
We urge you to take action now, before August 8th and submit your comments to the FDA to exclude Premium Cigar from their regulations.
To assist you in submitting comments, consider the following example Courtesy of Cigar Rights Of America
As a premium cigar consumer, I urge the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to exempt premium cigars from the proposed deeming regulations issued on April 24, 2014.
The new proposed regulations will infringe on my rights as a cigar consumer: the freedom to enjoy a variety of premium cigars; The freedom to patronize small businesses across America who will now find their livelihood at risk; The freedom to assemble with fellow cigar enthusiasts because of intrusive government intervention into an adult pursuit.
These devastating new restrictions on premium cigars and the businesses that manufacture and sell premium cigars, must recognize that premium cigars, are not what Congress intended with the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. I urge the FDA to consider the following:
- As a consumer, special editions and seasonal blends are a unique experience. If premium cigar manufacturers are subjected to pre-market reviews it will result in the elimination of new products, and consumers will have fewer options to choose from when looking to purchase limited edition premium cigars.
- Consumers from all demographics and walks of life enjoy premium cigars. Using price would place an unfair discriminatory economic burden on those adults who enjoy premium cigars by setting some arbitrary benchmark for what is “premium.”
- Premium cigars are an adult product, enjoyed in a celebratory manner, with industry surveys substantiating that the average cigar consumer enjoys two to five cigars per week.
- Premium cigars are not marketed to, nor appealing, to minors.
- Premium cigar retailers are already engaged in strict age verification when it comes to purchasing premium cigars and all other forms of tobacco.
- Premium cigar retailers are predominantly small family businesses that create hundreds of community-based jobs. The proposed regulations would jeopardize these jobs, and threaten the contribution of these jobs in neighborhoods across America.
- Consumer taste preferences are unique and different. A ban on sampling would prohibit consumers from being able to try new products before they make such a significant purchase.
- Premium cigars are an artisan product made by skilled craftsmen carrying a rich historical and cultural significance. The proposed regulations would threaten this rich tradition.
- Premium cigars deserve an exemption from federal regulation.
I enjoy going to my local cigar shop and shops like it across the country. You meet with friends, and you make new friends. Cigars bring together people from all walks of life, in a manner like no other social activity. It’s like the hardware store or barber shop in days past.
People like being together, and premium cigars are also an important part of the moments of solitude that we all need in life.
The federal government should not be interfering with that type of camaraderie, fellowship, and personal pursuit.