Washington, DC-With the addition of Representative Heath Shuler (D-NC-11) and Representative Nan Hayworth (R-NY-19), the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act of 2011 (H.R. 1639) now boasts the strength of 210 Representatives behind it. The bill, along with its sister bill in the Senate (S. 1461), seeks to curtail proposed FDA regulation of premium cigars.
Representative Shuler, a former NFL quarterback, as well as Representative Hayworth, a doctor, ophthalmologist, and assistant clinical professor, both knows the effects of tobacco and why premium cigars, which are only made with whole tobacco leaf, are vastly different from cigarettes and other tobacco products.
With the FDA’s proposed new jurisdiction, they would have the ability to completely alter the way premium cigars are blended, produced and sold, even going as far as having the ability to take the word “cigar” out of advertisements and ban walk-in humidors. This, in the opinion of the IPCPR, is the demonization of completely legal and non-addictive product and could seriously harm the industry.
“The FDA has the potential to take away a choice that is completely my own. The level of control that the FDA could dictate would have a devastating impact on the way brick and mortar cigar stores sell their celebratory products. Small business and the jobs we provide are the backbone of America and more regulations from FDA on the products we sell benefit no one,” said Craig Cass, owner of Tinder Box and Tobacco Trader in Charlotte, North Carolina as well as the 2nd Vice President of the IPCPR.
Rob Roth, owner of Nice Ash Cigars & Lounge in New York and a member of the New York Tobacconist Association as well as an IPCPR board member had this to add “As we continue our outreach, more and more congressmen and women are realizing the effect that this legislation would have on small mom-and-pop tobacconists all throughout this country. These bills in the House and Senate are simply standing up for small businesses.”
Deliberations in the House and Senate continue. To get involved, go to www.ipcpr.org.