Swisher has announced that it has promoted Chris Howard to evp of external affairs and new product compliance. Howard will succeed Joe Augustus, the longtime Swisher executive who is retiring after more than 33 years with the company.

Howard was previously vp, general counsel and chief compliance officer at E-Alternative Solutions, a Swisher subsidiary that includes the Leap vapor brand and Forth, a CBD brand. Now, he will take over handling Swisher’s regulatory and compliance efforts. This change comes as Swisher’s main product—flavored cigars—faces intense pressure. Earlier this month, California voters voted in favor of a statewide ban on most flavored tobacco products and earlier this year the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was working to ban flavored cigars at the national level.

Prior to his time at Swisher, Howard previously worked at Fontem Ventures, the company behind blu e-cigarettes, and Lorillard Tobacc Co.

“Through his ongoing efforts advocating Swisher and industry interests and advancing major initiatives, Chris has been a key leader and strategist for our company in his six years with us,” said Neil Kiely, president of Swisher, in a press release. “Chris’ deep experience and unique skillset make him the perfect candidate to help us navigate the evolving regulatory environment in our industry – we look forward to the impact he will deliver.”

While most consumers and retailers have likely never heard of Augustus, those involved with cigar regulations are very familiar with the longtime Swisher executive. He joined Swisher in November of 1989 and most recently served as one of the company’s executive vice-presidents. Augustus has been one of the most important voices when it comes to cigar regulations on both the federal and local levels. He is a member of the board of directors of the Cigar Association of America.

In addition to the eponymous Swisher Sweets brand, Swisher owns a variety of other companies, including Drew Estate.

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.