When I’m asked how I got into the Cigar business and so engaged in the Cigar community my response is probably not too different from many others: their father introduced them. For me the love and passion I have for this industry is not just about the leaf, but also what the leaf occasions and engenders: Community. In the season that is upon us there is nothing better than sparking up a great cigar and enjoying the occasion of community or solace that was made possible by that burning leaf. It is a precious, precious thing and more and more these days the government is threatening to encroach upon those precious liberties. So the greatest gift you can give yourself and our fellow Brother’s of the Leaf this Holiday Season is taking a stand against the Orwelian rise of the FDA and its encroaching regulations.
In case you haven’t heard what’s at stake if the current round of legislation passes, the following things are at stake and on the verge of becoming reality:
- If the FDA gets their way they will enforce regulations which will force manufacturers to spend upwards of six-figures to just get a new blend approved.
- Your favorite boutique cigar brands will wither and die, leaving only the largest manufacturers to introduce a new blend or two per year due to expenses.
- You will find limited special releases and small-batch cigars done away with, due to the exorbitant cost and time it takes for the companies to get new brands approved.
- The FDA will limit nicotine levels on cigars to near-zero. This will severely impact their flavor and water down what makes their taste so unique and wonderful.
- Don’t expect to sample those new blends, either: free samples will be illegal, as well as cigar events.
- Walk-in humidors, self serve cigar displays, and mail-order cigar sales will be banned. Also banned will be the occasion to smoke in those establishments.
- All flavored cigars will be banned
- All cigar boxes will be defaced with grotesque images
- New taxes will be imposed on cigars to finance regulation and there will be a ban on the marketing of cigar merchandise.
Not to mention with the continuance of local laws the occasion to smoke in those establishments or any public outdoor space will be considered illegal and be a violation of law.
Clearly much is at stake and our rights are being stolen from right underneath us. There is however a relatively easy way to get involved and that is by joining and working with the CRA. You can become a member for a nominal fee or you can simply go to their website and sign the petition to fight for your cigar rights. Its as easy as putting your email address and your basic information on the form and the CRA will do the rest for you by composing and sending an email to your local representatives.
We here at Cigar Brief wish you all the best this Holiday Season and hope that you have many happy occasions in the New Year to enjoy sparking up a great cigar. Please join us in helping give the most precious gift we can to ourselves and our fellow brothers this Holiday Season: the continued right to enjoy cigars and the wonderful times they help create!
Anthony Cantelmo & Jason Schwartz