Legislators Continue to Try to get Cigars off the FDA’s Regulatory

Legislators Continue to Try to get Cigars off the FDA’s Regulatory

As everyone knows, cigarettes are a massively regulated industry. And not just because of the addiction and health risks, but also the risks to minors. Premium cigars, unfortunately, have been lumped into this regulatory scheme. Cigar makers, of course, hate this because they’re forced to pay the FDA’s “user fees” and comply with other regulations that they claim are overly burdensome. (As you may also know, most industries find regulation to be a pain in the ass.)

Partial Regulatory Exemption

In this case, there’s a decent argument to be made for a partial regulatory exemption because, while you might find little Johnny hanging out behind a convenience store bummin’ a few smokes, vaping some fresh e-juice, or smokin’ a doobie, you’ll never find him with a torch lighter in hand trying to cherry up an Arturo Fuente Opus X. Premium cigars are big boy (and girl) treats and should be recognized as such. They’re used by a different market and arguably, should be treated differently. That’s just what Marco Rubio and a merry band of co-sponsors are trying to do in Senate Bill S.9, the “Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act of 2019”. This bill, along with a companion bill in the House of Representatives, would, “xempt traditional large and premium cigars from regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and from user fees assessed on tobacco products by the FDA.” The reasoning? “o protect jobs and small businesses involved in the sale, manufacturing, and distribution of traditional and premium cigars.” So there you have it. Our precious premium smokes may one day be pushed back outside hardcore FDA regulation. We won’t hold our breath, of course, since this battle has been raging for many years. But just know that it ain’t over until the Fat Lady exhales (or until cigar makers run out of money for lobbyists). “Who cares about the pressures on cigar makers,” you say? Well, according to an attorney for a Florida cigar maker, the FDA’s own estimate is that these regulations could eliminate about 50% of the industry.

50% of the industry – gone!

That’s a lot. If you’re a fan of variety and cigar innovation, you shouldn’t be a fan of these regulations. They slow down market releases of new products (except for the superhuman people at Drew Estate). In general, make it more onerous to bring a product to the market. Pissed off? Do your part and support your favorite cigar maker today! Then fire up a big fat one in the name of market choice. We call it “voting with your lighter.”