Cigar Smokers May Be Priced Out of the Market
A USA Today column by James Bovard on June 22, 2014 cautions that up to 77% of cigars could be affected by the new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandate, if it is signed into law. The FDA has pushed for heavy regulation of electronic cigarettes, hookahs and other tobacco products, but cigar smokers may pay the heaviest price. (The story doesn’t mention electronic cigars specifically, but what are the chances they’ll be exempt?)
The FDA proposal would compel manufacturers to gain pre-market approval for cigars not sold before February 15, 2007. As Bovard states, the agency is slow to approve new drugs, and would be likely to drag their feet even more on cigars or electronic cigars – they definitely don’t approve of them!
Why no outcry from the cigar industry? Because “premium” cigars may be exempt from the new ruling. Any handmade cigar that costs less than $10 is not “premium.” Most handmade cigars are sold for less than $10. In addition, most of the exempt cigars are foreign-made.
Bovard points out that while cigars are less toxic than tobacco cigarettes, you can’t expect the FDA to cough up that admission. He says it would be more honest for the Obama team to make smoking cheap cigars a federal crime.
Some members of Congress are urging the FDA to ban all flavored cigars. Flavored cigars, electronic cigars, cheap cigars…if you smoke cigars or vape electronic cigars, watch out.