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Congresswoman Castor Introduces HR 1854 to Exempt Premium Cigars

ipcprlogoWASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-FL) introduced the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act of 2019 (“HR 1854”), which calls for a premium cigar exemption from regulation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”).

The bill would protect main street mom and pop small businesses and traditional handcrafted premium cigar manufacturers from regulations currently affecting their businesses.

“IPCPR is very pleased that there is a strong bi-partisan support for the thousands of premium cigar retailers throughout this country and the many thousands our members employ,” said Scott Pearce, IPCPR executive director.  “We are proud that as we have engaged policy makers, our message that continuing with existing and planned regulations on this artisanal industry will cripple it to the point of obsolescence, has resonated and is gaining momentum.”

IPCPR President Ken P. Neumann praised Congresswoman Castor as well as recognized the many years of support and hard work of Congressman Posey (R-FL).  “We are lucky to have such great stalwarts who understand our industry and who are working to see a fair and equitable solution that allows all of us who have poured so much of our lives into our businesses remain a strong backbone of our local communities,” said Neumann.

This bill compliments senate bill S 9 as introduced by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) that also seeks a premium cigar exemption.  IPCPR will continue to work with both the House and Senate to ensure that each bill is given due consideration.

“As great as it is to have HR 1854 now introduced, this is just step one in a long process,” said John Anderson, IPCPR vice president and chair of IPCPR Federal Affairs Committee.  “Now, every IPCPR member, shop or lounge owner, premium cigar manufacturer and all those who enjoy premium cigars must actively engage in our education campaign to ensure our legislators truly understand our industry and why these bills are absolutely critical to ensuring the future of our industry.”

HR 1854 has strong bi-partisan support with the following 25 original co-sponsors:

  • Bill Posey (R-FL)
  • Joe Courtney (D-CT)
  • Kurt Schrader (D-OR)
  • Charlie Crist (D-FL)
  • Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
  • Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)
  • Dina Titus (D-NV)
  • Mike Kelly (R-PA)
  • Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)
  • George Holding (R-NC)
  • Ken Calvert (R-CA)
  • Ted Budd (R-NC)
  • Francis Rooney (R-FL)
  • Don Young (R-AK)
  • Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)
  • Tom Emmer (R-MN)
  • Alex Mooney (R-WV)
  • Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA)
  • Andy Harris (R-MD)
  • Steve Womack (R-AR)
  • Brian Mast (R-FL)
  • Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
  • Roger Williams (R-TX)
  • Michael Turner (R-OH).