Since the announcement that four big cigar companies were pulling out of the annual Premium Cigar Association trade show, several cigar companies and organizations have come forward to voice their support for the PCA. A sampling:
• La Flor Dominicana maker Litto Gomez called the PCA show “the most important event of the year,” one that he has been part of for 25 years, since the founding of his company. “This event has been instrumental in the success of our company,” Gomez wrote in a letter issued this morning. “I cannot ignore the sadness that overcomes me knowing that at this very moment we as an industry are facing the worst enemy in our history. This enemy is not and should not be among us. It is the FDA and their intentions are clear: they want to destroy us. It worries me that we find ourselves so divided in such difficult and crucial times when unity is our only option for survival.”
• Tampa’s J.C. Newman Cigar Co. said it would be at the trade show, continuing a tradition that dates back 87 years, long before the organization was called PCA. “We are proud to say that we attended the very first RTDA trade show in 1933 and have attended every RTDA/IPCPR/PCA trade show since then. This year will be no different,” wrote Eric and Bobby Newman, who run the company. “Given the many regulatory and legal challenges that manufacturers and retailers are facing today, the show is more important and relevant than ever.”
• The Cigar Rights of America, an industry group fighting for the rights of cigar smokers, has worked closely with the PCA. “The CRA member manufacturers will be working together with our retail partners to strengthen our industry and protect premium cigar companies, and our customers, at this unique time in this industry’s history,” said CRA board chairman Robert Levin. “That’s why we will be there.”
• Levin doubled down on his support for PCA, also issuing a letter from Ashton Distributors Inc., his company that owns and distributes the Ashton, La Aroma de Cuba and San Cristobal cigar brands. “We strongly encourage all of our retail partners to attend this year’s PCA trade show in Las Vegas,” he wrote.
• Arturo Fuente Cigars made a bold statement on Friday, announcing that it would unveil a rare series of Fuente Fuente OpusX and Arturo Fuente Hemingway cigars at the show—items that can only be purchased by retailers who attend the PCA.
The trade show begins on Friday, July 10, in Las Vegas.