Tampa Bay Times Endorses Handmade Cigar Exemption

Tampa Bay Times Endorses Handmade Cigar Exemption

The largest newspaper in Florida has come out against the FDA’s regulation of handmade cigars. Last week, The Tampa Bay Times printed an editorial encouraging the Trump administration to exempt premium cigars from FDA regulation, as the proposed requirements “could sink a niche industry and end Tampa’s fabled history as a cigar-making capital.”

The Times’ editorial board said it supports the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s efforts to reduce youth smoking, but warns that a “one-size-fits-all” approach to tobacco regulation could have grave consequences for family-owned businesses like J.C. Newman Cigar Co., Tampa’s largest remaining cigar factory.

The Tampa Bay Times is Florida's most-read newspaper, with a circulation of 317,270, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. The newspaper was renamed the Tampa Bay Times in 2012, having previously been published as the St. Petersburg Times since 1898. It is owned by the Times Publishing Company, which produces several Florida-based newspapers and magazines, as well as the popular news website PolitiFact.com.