Today, we launch our newest project, halfwheel.com/fda. It’s a microsite dedicated to breaking down the deeming regulations with more detail, but also with a much easier format to digest.

The editorial staff of halfwheel is concerned over the real and monumental threat FDA regulation would have on the premium cigar industry, including halfwheel itself. We believe one of the issues is that the amount of information to digest is monumental and oftentimes staring at a block of text is not idea.

We did not try to explain this in audio or video form, but we did attempt to make it slightly more interactive, a tad bit prettier and at the very least more focused, yet spread out, than the ways we have previously tried to display the information.

On a personal note, I have never been more energized about anything we’ve produced here at halfwheel. Our goal was that of journalism: make the complicated simple. I sincerely hope that we achieved that.

As a website that covers the news of the premium cigar industry we try to remain as unbiased and impartial as possible. It’s essential in order to provide you “the full story.” Today, as I graze over the effort that was poured into this project—I’ll be upfront: we are not without bias. However, we presented the story as “fully” as I think we are capable of at this moment in time.

The very livelihood of halfwheel would be in serious jeopardy if the FDA regulates premium cigars. There would be a minuscule amount of new products, even fewer new companies, substantially tightened ad budgets and fewer cigar manufacturers. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As Patrick Lagreid more eloquently writes here—the very core of today’s cigar industry could be destroyed. For me, if we have to see it go, I hope dearly that it is not because of inaction.

For our friends at Altadis, General Cigar Co. and Davidoff—all part of significantly larger multinational corporations—you will still be here after the regulations. But for the smaller companies like halfwheel—it will be hard to exist in a world of regulation. The FDA admits that “consolidation” will likely take place after regulation. Consolidation is a nice way of saying extinction.

We have never been individuals—or an organization—that has operated shouting unfounded threats. Today, we do not do that. If you spend the time to read, comprehend, examine and evaluate the information presented by the FDA—a grim scenario exists under Option 1.

For those whom believe that the time between now and July 9 is not the most important time the premium cigar industry has faced regarding its future—you are naïve, not optimistic. It’s not known what it will take in order to get the FDA to exempt premium cigars, but one thing is for certain—inaction is not the way to achieve success. 

If you enjoy reading halfwheel, looking at the pictures, disagreeing with our ratings, trolling our comment sections or more importantly—smoking cigars, please urge the FDA to exempt premium cigars. Please write with an informed basis. Please write in a respectful and serious manner. But most importantly—please write.

My sincere thanks to Patrick Lagreid who has served as the editor of all of halfwheel’s FDA Deeming Regulation coverage. I urge you to read his editor’s note regarding the issue—without question the most substantial piece of the microsite.

Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.