On May 27, 2016, the Cigar Association of America (CAA), International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR), and Cigar Rights of America (CRA) released a joint statement regarding the Food and Drug Administration (FDA or FUFDA in our parlance) regulation of cigars. The joint statement was issued to members of each of the organizations. The joint statement urges careful analysis and patience. Early chatter on the Internet suggests a lot of discord, aka pissed off people, about this portion of the statement. As much as we respect each of these organizations, we at Cigar Intel tend to agree with the chatter. The more patient we are, the more the FUFDA will execute and the harder it will be to remove the FUFDA parasite from the cigar industry. And make no mistake, the FUFDA is a parasite on the cigar industry with $300,000 cigar testing fees, fines, user fees, paperwork hell, etc. As a former U.S. Government employee, I understand their strategy as I used it many times. . . drag and die. Their intent is to drag the cigar industry through hell until it dies.
The joint FDA statement also states that the organizations are “. . . exploring issues relating to compliance, including engagement with FDA for clarity and guidance, as well as other legal, legislative, and regulatory options.” I guess exploring issues is important but I think we cigar lovers would rather see some action. To be honest, I’m disappointed by the joint FDA statement as my interpretation is that the organizations have rolled over and given up. The U.S. Government doesn’t respond at all to careful analysis and patience, or exploring issues. The U.S. Government only responds to a squeaky wheel and I’m afraid our wheel has ceased to squeak.
Below is the joint FDA statement for your reading pleasure or displeasure depending on how you interpret the statement.