Important CRA announcements – “Operation Cigar Liberty” needs your help!

H.R. 1639 – The Traditional Cigar Manufacturing & Small Business Jobs Act Continues to Make Progress

Steps Also Taken to Advance S. 1461 in the United States Senate

We are pleased to report that the filed federal legislation that would exempt premium/traditional cigars from regulations created by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has picked up new sponsors, placing the current number at 45 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives that have agreed to sponsor the legislation.

New sponsors include Representatives Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee; Charles Dent of Pennsylvania; and Mike Ross of Arkansas. They join colleagues from twenty-two states in support of H.R. 1639, as Representatives Bill Posey and Kathy Castor continue their bi-partisan effort to advance this critical legislation.

As you read on August 11, the CRA team met with U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky , addressing the necessity of S. 1461 for the retail tobacconists of Kentucky, and the nation. Since our last report, we can now say we have communicated with ‘both sides of the isle.’

Working with former U.S. Ambassador Sig Rogich, President of Rogich Communications Group in Las Vegas, Nevada, the CRA team recently met with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

CRA Board President Jeff Borysiewicz and Board member Rocky Patel noted with Senator Reid the critical need for S. 1461, what the legislation means to America ‘s retail tobacconist community, the national supply chain, and impact on small businesses throughout the nation. We also presented Senator Reid with a letter on the impact FDA regulation of cigars could have with Nevada’s premium tobacconists and their customers, as well as the positive economic impact the cigar industry has for travel, tourism and convention business in Nevada.

As Congress prepares to return to Washington from their summer recess, we are entering a critical time for H.R. 1639 and S. 1461. We need for every cigar enthusiast in the nation to sign our new FDA petition, which will allow you to communicate directly with your member of the House of Representatives and Senate.

It will send a message that FDA has no business regulating cigars, the need to protect our ability to enjoy a great cigar without government interference, while also protecting the history and tradition of the professional tobacconist community, and the future of the companies that produce these amazing cigars.

Help Exempt Premium Cigars From FDA Regulation!  
H.R. 1639 / S. 1461 – Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act

Did you know that on April 26, 2010, December 20, 2010, and July 7, 2011 the U.S. Food & Drug Administration publicly posted their intent to regulate cigars in the Federal Register?

Some of the measures FDA could consider, as we believe they are, include:

  • Ban on walk-in humidors, self serve cigar displays, and mail-order cigar sales;
  • Ban on all flavored cigars, that are enjoyed by legal-age adults;
  • Deface ornate, decorative cigar boxes, often considered an art form with grotesque images;
  • Ban on cigar events where free cigars (samples) could be available to legal-age adults;
  • Limits on cigar marketing and advertising;
  • Imposition of new ‘user fees’ [tax] on cigars, to finance regulations;
  • Limits on special release and small-batch cigars, due to mandates that cigar blends be submitted to FDA for pre-approval before release;
  • Limits on nicotine levels on cigars to near zero, severely impacting the flavor of cigars;
  • Ban on marketing cigar merchandise.

Take action by clicking these links now and help protect our cigar smoking freedoms!

House Bill H.R. 1639

Senate Bill S. 1461

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