Our cigar woes have made the big time! On August 12th, 2016, the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled, “Give That Man a Cigar, Before the Rules Kick In.” In the article, the Wall Street Journal highlights the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (FUFDA) regulations that went into effect on August 8th, 2016. There are a few interesting factoids in the article that are worth highlighting. First, they state that Federal officials estimate approval for new cigars will cost $1,400 to $3,600. This is a far cry from the hundreds of thousands of dollars quoted by other sources. Second, they estimate that 1,500 new cigars were released at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers (IPCPR) Association Annual Convention in July in order to beat the new regulations. This is almost double the number of cigars released at the prior Annual Convention. Damn, that is a lot of new cigar brands. Third, the article discusses cigars that were released in small quantities for the IPCPR Annual Convention simply to beat the FDA deadline and these cigars are being referred to as “phantom brands” by Charlie Minato, co-founder of Halfwheel, an online cigar blog.
There are a number of cigar manufacturers quoted in the article. Rocky Patel of Rocky Patel Premium Cigars is quoted as saying that producing the new cigars before the FDA deadline was a “nightmare” and he worked 18-hours days to create 45 new cigars. Holy crap, 45 new cigars from Rocky! Jim Young of Davidoff Cigars stated, “We had to get our track shoes on to get everything to launch.”
The article is worth a read and can be found here.