July 20, 2012 (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.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.