1 Year of Cigar Aficionado for $10 PLUS a Free Gift!

Legislation

Editors' Note: Cigars for the Troops

By David Savona , Marvin R. Shanken | From Kurt Russell, July/August 2019
Editors' Note: Cigars for the Troops
Photo/David Yellen

So many things are wrong with the Food and Drug Administration’s regulation of the cigar industry that it’s easy to overlook one of the most egregious prohibitions. We’re talking about the government’s ban on cigar companies giving away samples of cigars, which prohibits manufacturers from donating cigars to American troops.

Prior to 2016, it was common for makers of handmade cigars to donate cigars to American troops, particularly those serving abroad. But that year, a new set of FDA regulations was passed that included a prohibition on free samples, a restriction that made these charitable donations illegal. Have you ever heard of a more ridiculous government prohibition?

Cigars are an indelible part of the long history of the U.S. military, and were smoked by such famed generals as Ulysses S. Grant, George S. Patton and Tommy Franks. The cigar is no stranger to the military. When a soldier, Marine, airman or sailor is stationed far from home, he or she is sacrificing comforts we all take for granted. For those who serve, is it too much to ask that they be given a good cigar? It is a simple—and deserved—comfort no legislator should deny.

The companies that make handmade cigars are fighting the battle to overturn these ridiculous FDA regulations, but for now the ban on cigar companies donating cigars remains. However, these laws don’t apply to individual citizens. We’re sure that all of you reading this letter have a cigar (or a few cigars) that you could spare. We ask that you join us—these prohibitions don’t include publishing companies—in making a donation of cigars to members of the U.S. armed forces.

Cigars For Warriors is a charity that has sent out hundreds of thousands of cigars since 2012. It places a special emphasis on troops serving in danger zones. “Any man or woman who has to be quarantined for two weeks deserves a cigar,” says Storm Boen, an Army vet who cofounded Cigars for Warriors. Don’t forget our troops.

Visit cigarsforwarriors.org and send them some well-earned cigars.

More in Legislation

See all
Court Strikes Down Key Premarket Review Process for Premium Cigars

Court Strikes Down Key Premarket Review Process for Premium Cigars

Premium cigar manufacturers no longer have to worry about the upcoming September 9 deadline for some …

Aug 19, 2020
FDA Asks Court to Consider Premium Cigar Deferral Proposal

FDA Asks Court to Consider Premium Cigar Deferral Proposal

As the September 9 deadline for cigar manufacturers to submit their premarket applications to the FDA …

Aug 6, 2020
Pennsylvania Reps Prod President to Eliminate Premium Cigar Regulations

Pennsylvania Reps Prod President to Eliminate Premium Cigar Regulations

Half of Pennsylvania’s 18 representatives earlier this week signed and sent a letter to President …

Jul 15, 2020
Court Strikes Down FDA’s Cigar Warning Label Plan

Court Strikes Down FDA’s Cigar Warning Label Plan

A trio of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington D.C. Circuit ruled unanimously this …

Jul 7, 2020
Florida Representatives Urge President to Drop Cigar Industry Regulations

Florida Representatives Urge President to Drop Cigar Industry Regulations

In response to the economic downturn, a dozen representatives from Florida have signed and sent a …

Jun 8, 2020
Court Ruling Ends Chances of 2021 Deadline for FDA Product Reports

Court Ruling Ends Chances of 2021 Deadline for FDA Product Reports

The FDA’s pre-market application deadline for cigars will remain September 9 after a trio of judges …

May 5, 2020