FB: “Cigar smokers and makers are hopeful that President-elect Donald Trump will provide relief to the industry, which is facing an uncertain future after the Obama administration adopted regulations that threatened the industry with crippling costs.”
“The Food and Drug Administration announced new rules in May that would subject premium, hand-rolled cigars to comply with product-testing and label requirements similar to those cigarettes and smokeless tobacco undergo. The agency adopted those rules, despite a letter from the Obama administration’s Small Business Administration saying that it would cost small businesses between $390,000 and $759,000 upfront and present employers with $450,000 to $540,000 in additional costs annually.”
All of this began with the Tobacco Control Act in 2009 which was supposed to regulate access of cigarettes and chewing tobacco to youth. Premium cigars were not a part of it until 2014.
Mark Pursell, president of International Premium Cigar, “Our category does not have the problem of youth access that the rest of the industry has. These cigars are sold in specialty shops that you have to be 18 to enter.”
Because of output limitations or climate variations brands introduce products on a limited basis. Opus is a familiar example. The new rules mandate all new blends and products be presented to the FDA. This overview would be impossible and certainly not parallel with the cigarette industry.
“Trump’s selection of congressman and surgeon Tom Price (R., Ga.) to lead the Department of Health and Human Services has given the cigar industry hope that it can avoid the full implementation of those rules. Price, who declined to comment on the story, twice cosponsored unsuccessful legislation that would have clarified that premium cigars are exempt from the rules.”
When you start enjoying premium cigars it’s amazing the people you meet. Sometimes you run into those from the other side. All of those cigar shops these regulations are trying to shut down, it was a different environment.