FDA Came After Us Again - YESTERDAY
 
- Operation ‘Cigar Liberty’ NEEDS YOU -

By Glynn Loope, Executive Director
Cigar Rights of America

As we wrote last week on how the “opposition was at work” trying to undermine H.R. 1639 that would prevent the U.S. Food & Drug Administration from regulating cigars, we were talking about the joint letter from the American Cancer Society “Cancer Action Network,” American Heart Association, American Lung Association and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, in their letter to Congress that was full of their traditional propaganda. Little did we know….

There was another group at work this week against our interests. In fact, it was just yesterday– the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. They did it again.

In the July 7 Federal Register, FDA restated its authority to issue regulations deeming “other tobacco products” to be subject to their domain [when the legislative intent was cigarettes and smokeless products.] They further stated “The scope of the proposed rule deeming cigars to be subject to FDA's jurisdiction that was previously included in the Unified Agenda is being broadened to encompass products that meet the statutory definition of tobacco product.” They now assert their (new) timetable for such regulations as October of this year.

You see, they want it all. They want to control, regulate, and make no mistake, have it as difficult as imaginable to enjoy perfectly legal tobacco products – including that cigar you'll be enjoying to launch the weekend, tonight.

But Congress is listening, and we need to seize the moment as legislators are tired of bureaucrats regulating the everyday lives of Americans, and literally choking the nation's economy with new rules that hinder growth. It's just like our friends at The Daily Caller said today regarding the Environmental Protection Agency, “EPA Saves Us From Job Growth.” In that same vein, FDA wants to threaten thousands of jobs associated with the national and international passion for a great cigar.

 

With each passing week H.R. 1639 gains momentum in Washington, DC, as the list of sponsors has grown to thirty members of the US House of Representatives. New to the sponsor list includes: Representatives Sam Graves of Missouri and Lynn Jenkins of Kansas.

If your Member of Congress is a sponsor, call with your appreciation!

With House Resolution 1639 filed in the U.S. House of Representatives, under the banner of the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act, we now have an opportunity to protect this passion we share.

What you can do:

  • Cut and paste the CRA link to our petition, and spread it among your own network of cigar club members, fellow cigar enthusiasts, and for cigar shop owners, place on your web site and in your promotional emails, so that we can reach all of Cigar Nation.
  • [Note: We are working with industry allies to get a companion bill filed in the U.S. Senate. We will keep you informed of progress on that front.]

California – Now Texas
 
Earlier this week, we joined other industry brethren in highlighting the California Assembly action to “hold in committee without recommendation” SB 575 that would have closed existing exemptions to the state's already stringent smoking regulations. This was a significant action, whereas California sets such a benchmark for the nation with such legislation. Despite Senate amendments that provided exemptions for cigar shops and private clubs, we know that this was just another step toward incremental prohibition. It has to be stopped - Every time.

Now, Texas joins the list of states that have set aside attempts for broadened statewide smoking restrictions. Despite numerous attempts at attaching a statewide smoking ban to the state budget, the Texas Senate has prevailed in stopping such parliamentary and political maneuvers for 2011. These actions in California and Texas now join similar defeats for new statewide smoking laws in Indiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina and West Virginia.  


Support Your Local Great American Cigar Shops™
 

 
CRA Needs Your Help!

In order to be successful in our fight to enjoy cigars without the threat of smoking bans and high taxation, CRA needs your help. Please consider partnering with CRA through two important methods:

Membership
There is strength in numbers! The more members CRA has, the greater voice we have at all levels of legislature. Please help CRA by asking your fellow cigar enthusiasts to join CRA today! Membership starts as low as $35/year.

Donate
Our fight around the country is very expensive. We would like to ask all CRA members and cigar enthusiasts to consider making a donation to CRA in any amount you choose.