The Cigar Rights of
America recently announced it has worked with lawmakers to help
introduce a first-of-its-kind bipartisan bill that would, if passed,
protect premium cigars from being legislated by the Food & Drug
In addition, the CRA today launched a national petition drive, called Operation Cigar Liberty, to garner signatures and support for the bill, officially filed as House Resolution 1639.
H.R. 1639, introduced by Rep. Bill Posey of Florida and dubbed the "Traditional Cigar Manufacturing & Small Business Jobs Preservation Act," removes the FDA's jurisdiction over the premium cigar industry by amending the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Why is this important to cigar enthusiasts and retailers?
Well in 2009, the FDA was granted full regulatory control of tobacco products like cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco when President Barack Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act into law.
The FDA had an immediate impact on the cigarette industry—banning all flavored cigarettes save for menthol, limiting the release of new products, limiting advertising and placing restrictions on the use of words such as "light"—and other tobacco products, however, the cigar industry remained largely unrestricted.
Last year, though, the FDA publicly declared its intent to regulate cigars. Rather than wait for potentially industry-threatening legislation to occur, though, the CRA, in conjunction with the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers association, decided to act.
CRA is asking all
cigar enthusiasts to get behind this bill by voicing their opinion to
Visit http://www.cigarrights.org/petition_FDA001.php to find out more.
For more on this, see next Tuesday's issue of Cigar Insider