Senate Committee on Appropriations Discusses Premium Cigar Exemption

On July 20th, 2017, the Senate Committee on Appropriations voted on the Fiscal Year 2018 Agriculture, Rural Development, and Related Agencies Appropriation Bill. While the Bill does not contain verbiage related to the exemption of premium cigars, like the House Bill referenced in a prior POST, three Senators commented on a premium cigar exemption.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) discussed the need for a premium cigar exemption. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) on the other hand discussed the need to implement the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) cigar regulations.  Rubio focused on the impact the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulations will have on small business in Florida and throughout the U.S. Senator Manchin supported Senator Rubio and focused his comments on the misnomer that teens smoke cigars. Senator Durbin spouted a bunch of cockamamie BS provided to him by the tobacco haters.

Here’s a few of the notable quotes from the Hearing:

Senator Rubio
  • “The industry’s future is at stake”
  • “It is abundantly it is not a product that preys on, seeks to market to, or has a problem with underage use”
  • “Premium cigar market is a very targeted market.”
  • “I am pleased that the House included a provision in their bill.
Senator Manchin
  • “When’s the last time you heard somebody say, ‘Why don’t you come over and have a nice dinner with me and we’ll have a nice glass of spirits and a maybe we’ll have a good cigarette afterwards.'”
  • “You don’t see kids going around smoking cigars.”
  • “This is in a category that’s not going to be professing or supporting continued tobacco use especially with the youth or people that are addicted to tobacco use
  • This is truly a high-end recreation; something that’s associated with many other things that we enjoy when we have the time or can make the time or afford it.”
  • “I’m sad that we don’t have an amendment that we can all support and vote on right now.”
  • “It does not add to any type of addiction and it does not foster or support addition, especially the youth.”
Senator Durbin
  • “I take a different point of view. I don’t know why in 2009 we decided when it came to tobacco products we would treat cigars and cigarettes differently.”
  • “For eight years, the Food and Drug Administration studied the difference between cigars and cigarettes. Here’s what they found, ‘There is no appropriate public health justification to exclude premium cigars from the same regulation as cigarettes.'”
  • “FDA found claims about reduced harm and lower threat to youth and I’m quoting here “unpersuasive”.
  • “When you think about quote premium cigars closed quote you think about thick steaks, Tuscan red wine, silk shirts, pinky rings.”
  • “It also would allow flavored cigars to qualify. We all know that inexpensive and flavored cigars on the market like sticky sweet cigars, watermelon cigars, wild rush cigars, tropical cigars, chocolate cigars, are exactly the type of cigars that attract young people.”
  • “Each day in America, more than 2,100 kids start smoking cigars for the first time.”
  • “1.4 million teenagers smoke cigars in the United States; the same number as smoke cigarettes.”
  • “It is time to get serious about the kid’s addiction to cigars and cigarettes.”

You can listen to the discussion HERE. Senator Rubio’s comments start at 1:31, Senator Manchin is at 1:33, and Senator Durbin is at 1:35.

We applaud Senators Rubio and Manchin for their support of exempting premium cigars from FUFDA regulation. Senator Durbin, well, not so much. He needs to get a grip and question the BS facts he received.



c.gar loves all things cigar-related. He typically falls in love with cigars that are discontinued shortly thereafter. His first cigar was a Swisher Sweet with a wood tip. Sadly, these are still in production.

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