TAMARAC, Fla., April 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The FDA has set a series of rules into effect that imposes harmful regulations on the cigar industry and its small businesses and could put upwards of 50 percent of the industry out of business according to the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR). The intent of the original act was to curb youth access to tobacco, however premium cigars have never marketed or been appealing to kids.
It is estimated brick and mortar retailers will leave the market in droves costing thousands of jobs in an industry representing 30,000 jobs nationally and is 94 percent small businesses.
“The overregulation is simply catastrophic for the premium industry and the small businesses who support it,” said Kaizad Hansotia, CEO of Gurkha Cigars. “It is an industry that in no way is attractive to youth and it being unjustly crippled by this regulatory regime.”
In late March, the FDA finally released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on premium cigars. The ANPRM allows the agency to solicit new data and information from the public on the definition, consumption and health impact of premium cigars. Comments can be left at the following website: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/03/26/2018-06047/regulation-of-premium-cigars#open-comment
Premium cigars are a handcrafted artisanal product, made of 100% tobacco. These cigars continue to be made by hand as they have been for several hundred years. Much like wine, premium cigar profiles range from mild to robust with numerous varieties in between. From a seedling, each premium cigar typically takes 3 – 4 years to produce, allowing flavor profiles to develop and mature. Premium cigars represent .11% of the overall tobacco product market in the United States. FDA funded studies show only 3% of consumers smoke premium cigars daily and that the vast majority of cigar smokers consume them rarely.