THE ISSUE

In 2009, Congress enacted the Tobacco Control Act, which gave the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. In 2016, the FDA issued the “Deeming Rule,” which expanded the agency’s regulatory authority to include cigars, pipes, and all other tobacco products

In doing so, the FDA took the same strict, onerous, and costly regulatory regime designed for “Big Tobacco” and the cigarette industry and applied it to premium cigars. Among other things, regulation has effecitvely created a moratorium on selling new premium cigars in America. Complying with the requirements for premarket review, product standards, product testing, etc. will cost millions of dollars. J.C. Newman is paying $3,000 per day in user fees to FDA. Given all of this, it is not surprising that FDA concluded that 50% of premium cigars makers will close. This will have a monopolistic effect, squeezing out small businesses in favor Big Tobacco.

Because, premium cigars are artisan, handcrafted products, the FDA’s one-size-fits-all approach seriously threatens the J.C. Newman’s Tampa cigar factory and the historic American premium cigar industry. Our aim is to keep our historic Tampa cigar factory open and continue making cigars in America just as we have for 123 years.