We would like to express a heartfelt thank you to everyone that has supported us these past few weeks. Friday night, August 8 at midnight was the deadline to submit comments to the FDA. From the beginning of this FDA battle, our goal was to leave no stone unturned in our effort to get our Tampa factory’s cigars exempted from regulation – and we did just that. Just 45 minutes before the deadline Friday night, we were appearing on Tampa’s CBS affiliate telling viewers to log on to our web site to urge FDA to not regulate Tampa’s last operating cigar factory out of business.
In the end, we received bi-partisan letters of support, specifically urging FDA to exempt our cigars from regulation, from Florida Governor Rick Scott, Senator Bill Nelson and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Senator Mary Landrieu and Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, Senator James Inhole of Oklahoma, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Senator Mazie Ihrono of Hawaii, Senator John Walsh of Montana, Florida’s Attorney General Bondi, Tampa’s Congressmen Kathy Castor and David Jolly, Tampa Mayor Buckhorn, Tampa City Council, Hillsborough County Commission, Tampa and Ybor City Chamber, numerous local historic groups and as well as from the editorial boards of both the Tampa Tribune and the Tampa Bay Times.
We received unprecedented press from all of the local Tampa Bay media, as well as national press including FOX News Network, FOX Business, Associated Press, NPR and the front page of the New York Times.
We received support from friends and competitors in the industry including, our partners Arturo Fuente as well as Davidoff and Drew Estates and all 3 trade cigar industry trade associations – CRA, CAA and IPCPR – who also submitted their support of our Tampa Factory to FDA.
We have never been more proud and thankful of both our own J.C. Newman Cigar family as well as the Tampa (and national) community. Thanks to the efforts of so many people, in and outside of our company, in Tampa and around the country, by the time FDA finishes reviewing and posting all of the public comments later this week, we will have garnered in excess of an incredible over 5,000 comments on our behalf – a remarkable “heavy lift” for our little company.
The next step is for the FDA to review all of the 80,000+ comments they received related to the pending cigar regulations, a process that will take the government at least six months. As we have information as to future action and the FDA’s plans and decisions, we will keep you posted. However for now, we wait.
In the meantime, you can continue to make a difference by staying up to date on the issue. This November, support those candidates that support business and get out and vote. This holiday buying season, support your cigar retailers buy buying cigars and/or cigar accessories.
We still have a long way to go, but thanks to you, we have a better chance keeping the cigar in Cigar City, USA.
Sincerely your friends in the cigar business,
The J.C. Newman Cigar Company