By Kevin Godbee
If U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) get their way, Cigar Smokers will soon be in the cross-hairs of the FDA to have their favorite smokes possibly regulated out of business. The Senators, in their grandiose nannyism of saving us grown adults from ourselves, since they know what’s good for us, and choose to ignore the "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" part of the United States Declaration of Independence are urging the FDA to "move swiftly" to take over regulatory control of cigars.
In a letter dated October 14, 2011, to U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, requesting that the agency "move swiftly to issue a strong regulation that would legally treat or deem all tobacco products, including cigars, pipe tobacco, and hookah tobacco and accessories, as subject to the Tobacco Control Act."
In addition, the Senators have requested a meeting with Commissioner Hamburg to receive an update on FDA’s progress regarding a possible regulation of other tobacco products and the time frame for the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products to complete this regulation. Click here for the text of the October 14th letter from the three U.S. Senators to Commissioner Hamburg.
We contacted Bill Spann, CEO of The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association for comment, and he had this to say. "The letter is further proof that action is required to ensure passage of H.R. 1639 and S. 1461 by and for everyone who enjoys premium cigars . It should foster a sense of urgency among all IPCPR members and other tobacco retailers and their customers to contact their U.S. Representatives and Senators and ask them to co-sponsor these bills that are designed to protect premium cigars. We must act now, before the process requested by these senators brings our industry down. The clock is running. We urge all premium cigar enthusiasts and retailers to go to www.IPCPR.org and follow the easy steps to a successful outcome regarding these important bills."
Kevin Godbee is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of Cigar Chronicles, but around here we just call him El Jefe… except for The Zman. He calls him Godsmack. Kevin started smoking cigars in 1998 and started an online cigar magazine & community site in 2005. (The site was acquired in 2008 and no longer exists.) He launched PipesMagazine.com in 2009, and in less than three years the site has become the largest trafficked pipe smoking related site, and the #1 Source for Pipes and Pipe Tobacco Information.
In the beginning of his career, Kevin worked in the hobby and specialty toy business for 16 years in sales, marketing, advertising and product development for three different manufacturers, and with his own company.
Over the last 10 years working in the online business, he has become an expert in Internet Marketing and SEO. Kevin is a Certified Salesforce Tobacconist (CST) through Tobacconist University, a member of Cigar Rights of America and is a "Media Member" of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association. In his spare time he sings, plays guitar, cooks, and enjoys all the wonderful places to go and things to do in beautiful downtown St. Petersburg, Florida where he lives with his pet anaconda