With all the disasters this country has seen over the past few weeks, something good came out of Washington today as the House of Representatives passed the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act of 2018, H.R. 3354. Why is that so great you ask? Well in H.R. 3354 is language that would provide a premium cigars exemption from the FDA rules. In fact the language restricts the Food and Drug Administration from enforcing the rules by restricting the agency from using funds to enforce the rules. So while many of our favorite cigar brand owners are recovering from Hurricane Irma, they have a shining light to rejoice about, at least for now.
J. Glynn Loope, Executive Director of Cigar Rights of America, stated
“…passage of this amendment, as included in the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act of 2018, is a testament to the bi-partisan coalition of co-sponsors that have served as a voice of reason, that premium handmade cigars do not deserve the treatment of draconian regulations as proposed by the FDA.
… the bill further speaks to the original congressional intent of the Tobacco Control Act, while serving as a message to the U.S. Senate, as budget negotiations continue this year.”
According to Ken Neumann, IPCPR President;
“…this vote represents the first time a bill passed by a chamber of Congress contains language related to premium cigar exemption. This is a monumental step for the industry and for IPCPR’s retailers. For many years we’ve been pushing the ball forward in our efforts to roll back the FDA’s oversized and ill-suited regulatory regime on premium cigars. Because of this work and because there are Members of Congress like Congressmen Bob Aderholt, Bill Posey and Congresswoman Kathy Castor who fight every day for small businesses and the premium cigar retailers across the country, we’re now on the precipice of bringing true relief to our industry.”
The bill, known as an omnibus appropriations package, passed the House by 211-198 votes and will now move to the Senate for consideration. Congress has until December 8th to pass spending legislation and fund the federal government.
It should be noted that if passed, the exemption would only last for Fiscal Year 2018 (October 1st – September 30th 2018) and the Senate and House must both agree to the same legislation and pass a bill by December 8th for the provision to take effect.
We at Stogie Press call on all our readers to contact your Senators to do the right thing and pass this legislation.
The CRA and the IPCPR have been working hard for years on our behalf to get Premium Cigars exempt from the FDA rules and this is the closest we have been. Lets keep the train rolling. If you have any questions you can contact Glynn Loope at the CRA or Daniel Trope at the IPCPR at the following:
- J. Glynn Loope, Executive Director of Cigar Rights of America firstname.lastname@example.org
- Daniel Trope, IPCPR Director of Federal Government Affairs email@example.com.