U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is working to exempt large and premium cigars from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations that increase costs and diminish sales for many small, Pennsylvania-based cigar retailers.
Sen. Toomey has co-sponsored the bipartisan Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act of 2013, which would properly distinguish premium, hand rolled cigars from other tobacco products, such as cigarettes, for the purpose of regulation by the FDA.
"The ongoing success of Pennsylvania's cigar manufacturing industry is a tribute to entrepreneurship and hard work," said Sen. Toomey. "The enactment of FDA regulations on premium cigars would only serve to inhibit future success and job growth in this industry."
Pennsylvania cigar manufacturers and advocacy organizations thanked Sen. Toomey for co-sponsoring the measure:
"I want to thank Sen. Toomey for supporting small family businesses in Pennsylvania by co-sponsoring the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act, which exempts premium cigars from FDA regulation. Sen. Toomey understands that the premium cigar industry in Pennsylvania is strong and growing, with numerous small family businesses employing several thousand people. Holt's Cigar Company has been a Philadelphia business for over 100 years. My children are now in the business and they should have the opportunity to take our business to the next level without overbearing government regulations. We need leaders in Washington who will fight to protect small businesses from crushing federal regulations that destroy businesses and keep them from growing. Sen. Toomey is one of those leaders," said Robert Levine, President of Holt's Cigar Co.
"Today, we issue our most sincere thanks to Sen. Toomey for his support and co-sponsorship of the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act which will work to protect hundreds of Pennsylvania jobs associated with the premium cigar industry. Pennsylvania is a pivotal state for the distribution of cigars across the nation, and has over 50 retail tobacconist small businesses that Sen. Toomey is working to protect. This legislation will work for the economic benefit of Pennsylvania and thousands of small businesses across the nation. Sen. Toomey is a champion of limited government, realizing that less regulation and taxation spurs economic improvement. That's the intent of Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act," said J. Glynn Loope, Executive Director of Cigar Rights of America, a national advocacy organization for cigar manufacturers, retail tobacconists and consumers.