When Sen. Mitch McConnell first spoke about his plan to raise the federal age limit to legally purchase tobacco products to 21 years old, he mentioned that military members would be exempt. However, the bill that the Kentucky senator filed in May offers no such exemption.
The Premium Cigar Association wants to change this and has kicked off a new grassroots campaign that makes it simple for anyone who supports a military exemption to contact their respective lawmakers.
“It is important for us to weigh in on this issue because we have successfully advocated for the military exemption at the state level in the past, and it is sound public policy that recognizes the complexity of the tobacco industry and represents people serving in the military that hope to continue to enjoy premium cigars as they defend our freedoms overseas,” said Joshua Habursky, director of federal affairs for PCA.
Supporting the campaign is an easy process. First, visit https://cigaraction.org/fed-military-exemption/. Then click the category on the right side of the screen that you fall under and fill out the fields with your information. The PCA’s system will automatically find the House Representative for your district and underneath will be a pre-populated email that you can add to if you wish. For the final step, click the “Submit” button and you’re done.
According to Habursky, the campaign is only targeting lawmakers in the House of Representatives because that chamber is currently debating three bills that would raise the age limit to 21 years old. The Senate appears to already be fully behind McConnell’s bill, so the chances are better that inroads can be made at this time by lobbying House members.
Habursky suggests that anyone participating in the campaign should edit the stock language included on the form with personal anecdotes. And if you haven’t already, sign up to receive action alert emails from the PCA at https://cigaraction.org/join-now/.