H.R. 1639 Reaches 210 Cosponsors

Only Eight More to Reach a Majority

Washington, DC-With the addition of Representative Heath Shuler (D-NC-11) and Representative Nan Hayworth (R-NY-19), the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act of 2011 (H.R. 1639) now boasts the strength of 210 Representatives behind it. The bill, along with its sister bill in the Senate (S. 1461), seeks to curtail proposed FDA regulation of premium cigars.

Representative Shuler, a former NFL quarterback, as well as Representative Hayworth, a doctor, ophthalmologist, and assistant clinical professor, both knows the effects of tobacco and why premium cigars, which are only made with whole tobacco leaf, are vastly different from cigarettes and other tobacco products.

With the FDA’s proposed new jurisdiction, they would have the ability to completely alter the way premium cigars are blended, produced and sold, even going as far as having the ability to take the word “cigar” out of advertisements and ban walk-in humidors. This, in the opinion of the IPCPR, is the demonization of completely legal and non-addictive product and could seriously harm the industry.

“The FDA has the potential to take away a choice that is completely my own. The level of control that the FDA could dictate would have a devastating impact on the way brick and mortar cigar stores sell their celebratory products. Small business and the jobs we provide are the backbone of America and more regulations from FDA on the products we sell benefit no one,” said Craig Cass, owner of Tinder Box and Tobacco Trader in Charlotte, North Carolina as well as the 2nd Vice President of the IPCPR.

Rob Roth, owner of Nice Ash Cigars & Lounge in New York and a member of the New York Tobacconist Association as well as an IPCPR board member had this to add “As we continue our outreach, more and more congressmen and women are realizing the effect that this legislation would have on small mom-and-pop tobacconists all throughout this country. These bills in the House and Senate are simply standing up for small businesses.”

Deliberations in the House and Senate continue. To get involved, go to www.ipcpr.org.

This article was written by Kyle Whalen. Kyle is the Public Relations Manager for the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association and can be reached at kyle@ipcpr.org. More information can be found online at www.ipcpr.org.

Please contact your representatives and help support this cause!


#1 Copenhagen Charley on 07.23.12 at 10:49 AM

Made the call this is very important. Thanks for the info!

#2 Custom Blends on 07.29.12 at 6:55 PM

This is the back wheels of the bus that cigar manufacturing threw roll your own tobacco under back in 2008.
The back wheels are a lot heavier.

#3 OTP Kid on 08.09.12 at 1:57 PM

The premium cigar part of the industry deserves no exemption; in fact, they deserve more scrutiny than most parts of the industry quite frankly. The industry routinely employs thrid-world workers for pennies on the dollar for wages, there are absolutely no standards for factory cleanliness or sanitary conditions, and the products are handled by hand and shipped under no industry guidelines.

Hopefully the FDA will not only regulate this group, but will put them under a microscope instead of listening to all of the romance and mythology they try to perpetrate to those who are ignorant of the real facts.

#4 Bill Godshall on 08.09.12 at 4:01 PM

Perhaps OTP Kid can point out the provisions in Chapter IX that would require cigar companies to pay higher wages, or that would make cigars even less hazardous than they are already (as I’m not aware of any).

Please see
Toomey pushes to exclude large and premium cigars from FDA regulation


The proposed Senate bill classifies a product as large or premium if it weighs at least six pounds per 1,000 cigars. Vince Willmore, a spokesman for the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids, worries the bill’s language leaves a loophole for flavored cigars.

Regarding the FDA regulations, Willmore thinks Toomey and the cigar industry are prematurely crying foul.

“There’s no real evidence the FDA is going to do these things that they’re saying, because the FDA hasn’t taken any action yet,” Willmore said. “They’re spinning a worst-case scenario.”

But Bill Godshall, who has fought for regulations on smoking and tobacco companies for 25 years, said he agrees with Toomey. Most cigar users face minimal health risks because they do not smoke multiple cigars daily and do not inhale, said Godshall, founder and executive director of Smokefree Pennsylvania.

Godshall said groups that want to regulate cigars are going to the extreme.

“What is this regulation going to do?” he asked. “Is it going to improve the product? Is it going to make it healthier? No.”

#5 OTP Kid on 08.10.12 at 10:38 AM

I’m not sure Bill has ever been involved or seen the process by which these products are manufactured, stored or shipped, actually I’m sure he hasn’t. The tobacco is fumigated numberous times, including the use of formaldihide, a known carcinogen. Unlike other tobacco products that are sterilized from bugs, premium cigars do not invlove any process that eradicates this through heat or steam. P

Additionally, while you state most users only smoke one cigar per day, although many smoke mulitple per day, one premium cigar (they don’t have filters Billy) contains more tar and niotine than a pack of full flavor Marlboro.

Finally, please post any manufacturers of premium cigars you may be receiving compensation from in the name of full disclosure. thank you

#6 Bill Godshall on 08.13.12 at 3:38 PM

Allentown Morning Call Point/Counterpoint: Should the FDA regulate cigars?

No: Bill Godshall, Smokefree Pennsylvania

Yes: Matt Myers, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids

Per full disclosure inquiry by OTP Kid (who doesn’t provide his/her real name and who didn’t answer my inquiry), I’ve never received any funding from any tobacco, drug or e-cigarette company.

The disease risks of cigar smoking (or cigarette smoking) have no relationship with the levels of carcinogens, tars or nicotine are in the products (or in their smoke when burned).

Similarly, the disease risks of smokeless tobacco products have very little if any relationship with the levels of carcinogens or nicotine in those products, which is why epidemiology studies find that higher carcinogen moist snuff products have similarly low disease risks as much low carcinogen snus products.

Unfortunately, the FDA, CTFK, ACS, AHA, ALA and others continue to deceive the public (and the public health community) to believe that disease risks of tobacco products are positively associated with their levels of nicotine and carcinogens, which is precisely why the public was mislead to believe that low tar/nicotine cigarettes were less hazardous than other cigarettes since the 1970s.

That’s another

#7 OTP Kid on 08.13.12 at 4:26 PM

Thank you Bill. I believe we are finally in agreement on something: which is that premium cigars need to be regulated by the FDA.

Thank you

#8 Bill Godshall on 08.14.12 at 2:41 PM

Either OTP Kid cannot read or comprehend common English, or OTP Kid just prefers lying.

Its difficult to engage in meaningful discussion with folks who insist upon misrepresenting the facts and evidence, and who won’t even reveal their identity.

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