t's hard to put into terms how significant and life-changing the FDA's potential regulation of the premium cigar industry could be, especially if Option 1 is the path the agency chooses.
Trying to get my own head around this, let alone that of my halfwheel colleagues, retailers, consumers, sales reps, manufacturers, elected officials, other people in the industry and my friends who don't enjoy premium cigars has been one of the most challenging tasks I have been faced with. The Deeming Document, a challenge in and of itself to read and comprehend, has left the door open to a myriad of scenarios that feel like a game of playing pick the least poisonous vial. The rabbit hole on this one certainly goes deep.
I also think about the friends and colleagues who I have come to know and value through our common enjoyment of cigars. Just today I spent time with a retailer and rep talking about our shared passion of cigars, only to have the topic of FDA regulation come up and put a serious damper on our conversation as we contemplated the what it might mean for each of us.
For each of us, it could mean the loss of a job, depending on just how tightly the FDA clamps down on premium cigars. A website such as this might not have as much to write about or advertisers and an audience to support it. The rep with no cigars to sell might have to find another line of work. The retailer whose products have been regulated to the point of finally have to hang the "going out of business sign" might have to say goodbye to the customers and friends it has taken him a decade to amass. Every day, the potential reality facing all of us gets that much more real.
The work that has been put in by Charlie Minato and myself to present this micro site to you only matters if you act on it. You need to write to the FDA and tell them why the premium cigar industry should be exempted from their proposed regulation, and you need to do it now. You need to tell them why enjoying a cigar at a reasonable price and with ready availability is important to you. You need to speak up and speak from the heart; if you don't, all that we and numerous others have done will prove to be all for naught.
As I watch the smoke from the cigar I am currently enjoying drift slowly into the night air, I think about all the good times I have had in the company of friends with cigars possibly drifting away with it if the FDA doesn't exempt premium cigars from its regulation. It's a sad thought to say the least, and much like what FDA regulation could do the cigar industry, one I struggle to get my head around.