A WhiteHouse.gov petition launched Wednesday afternoon is calling on President Obama to tell the Food & Drug Administration not to get involved with the regulation of premium cigars.
The petition is the result of a joint effort between Cigar Rights of America and the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association. Jeff Boryseiwicz, owner of Corona Cigar Co. in Orlando, FL and CRA Board Chairman, filed the petition and was the first signer.
The petition, titled “We Petition the Obama Administration to Not Allow the FDA to Regulate Premium Cigars” reads as follows:
Dear Mr. President:
The FDA is considering the creation of regulations for the premium cigar industry. These regulations will jeopardize over 85,000 American jobs, destroy America’s “mom & pop” premium cigar retailers & manufacturers, and risk over 250,000 jobs in Latin American that produce cigars, impacting the economic/political stability in the region.
We hope you will stand up for small businesses that dot Main Street America & recognize that premium cigars are enjoyed by adults, are not addictive and therefore do not conform to the Congressional intent of the Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act.
Tell the FDA to leave our premium cigars alone. With this nation’s more pressing issues, harming my simple ability to enjoy a cigar should not be a priority of the government.
The cigar industry has longed been concerned about possible FDA regulation, which could include bans on walk-in humidors and cigar events where sampling takes place, limits on advertising and marketing, as well as possible mandates that would require manufacturers to submit all new cigar blends to the FDA for testing and approval prior to release.
In order for the petition to be assigned to a White House staffer and addressed by the Obama administration, a minimum of 25,000 signatures needs to be received May 11, 2012. Within 24 hours of its launch, the petition had surpassed 3800 signatures.
The petition can be signed by clicking here. Note that registration on the WhiteHouse.gov site is required for security purposes.
Read more from Patrick Lagreid in the Phoenix Cigar Examiner column. You can also find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter for the latest news from the cigar world. Subscribe to this column via e-mail or add it to your RSS reader.