The Cigar Tax's Silver Lining
Posted: Aug 23, 2007 9:28am ET
Within a few weeks, cigar smokers of America will know whether or not they are going to get socked with a huge new tax on their favorite product. The subject was on everybody’s mind at the RTDA trade show in early August in Houston. Everywhere you turned, small groups of manufacturers were huddled together in serious conversation, trying to strategize about the best ways to tackle the problem, and get legislators in Washington to listen to their plight.
The good news, from my point of view anyway, is that for the first time, individual manufacturers and retailers were seizing the initiative to work on a common problem. The Cigar Association of America has always done a stellar job of lobbying and protecting the industry’s interest, but again, from my point of view, the organization often had to pressure their individual members to join in the fight of the moment.
There’s no reluctance anymore. You heard words like disaster, catastrophe, killer, all lumped together in conversation about the new tax. And the realization that this could be a huge hit on the industry really did get everyone motivated.
There seems to be a drive for the cigar industry to remain unified in this fight. And that’s got to be good for the entire industry, and for all cigar smokers today. If your retailer has been pushing you to write your congressman, now is the time to do it. Many of you have probably even seen some local events where your congressman will be in attendance; they are on recess right now. Seek them out. They need to hear face to face that cigar smokers should not be asked to shoulder an unfair proportion of this new tax. The more our voices are heard, the better the final result with be for us.
Now is the time.
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