AFGL: CRA, AB, Avo & Breaking In

March 9, 2012 · Posted in AFGL, Assault on Cigars, Cigar Industry, Entertainment · Comment 

A Few Good Links for this week covers some good news from Cigar Rights of America, Alec Bradley’s Red Badge Report, a new Avo and a show that returned from the grave.

1. From CRA is this:

In a significant advancement for the effort to keep the U.S. Food & Drug Administration out of your home and local tobacconist’s humidor, S. 1461 and H.R. 1639 has acquired two major new co-sponsors from the House and Senate.

Representative Fred Upton (R, Michigan) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R, South Carolina) are the politicians who have signed on to fight the FDA. That’s good news and I’m glad we have some more people fighting those who would stomp out our cigars. And a big thanks to CRA for their activism and for keeping us up-to-date on what is going on.

2. Alec Bradley just published the first edition of the Red Badge Report. Here’s a little video (jump ahead to about 0:40):

 3. Then there is the special (can a 100,000 production run be termed “special”) run of the Avo La Trompeta. Here’s the stuff:

Through the subtle balanced Ligero tobaccos and the add-on of Peruvian Seco from exquisite tobacco fields, this special vintage is a medium to full- bodied cigar with complex notes in the aftertaste. The beautiful, slightly oily Ecuador Special Sun Grown wrapper “Seleccion 702” awards this cigar an indescribable spicy and balanced, multi-faceted experience. This cigar converts our thoughts in dreams.

“This cigar converts our thoughts in dreams” – wow. Somebody ate their Wheaties before writing that! More info:

“La Trompeta” presents itself in a majestic and charming cigar format – a brilliant 6 ½ x 54 “Piramide”– the addition of a special feature to pay homage to the jazz trumpet, three small circular cigar leaf cut-outs are placed on the wrapper leaf to resemble “trumpet keys” – limited to 100,000 cigars worldwide with 50,000 cigars for the US market.

“La Trompeta” will be available on March 26th at Select Merchants with a retail price of $15.50 taxes not included.

4. Breaking In is not a great show but it’s fun. At least, it was. With the addition of Megan Mullally and the subtraction of a couple of guys (the kind of up tight one and that other one, you know, the zany guy) the premiere episode wasn’t good. Hopefully it will get better but, well, let’s hope. Here’s a video that I think shows one of the funnier moments from the first season:

Help Exempt Premium Cigars from FDA Regulation

October 10, 2011 · Posted in Assault on Cigars, Cigar Industry · 2 Comments 

I was alerted to this by one of my more loyal readers the other day and I think it warrants its own post. As many of you know, there is a chance that the FDA will unilaterally start regulating premium cigars in a manner that would throw the industry on its head. What follows is an explanation of what could happen from CRA and, if you want to take some action, follow THIS LINK to send a message to your representatives.

Help Exempt Premium Cigars From FDA Regulation! H.R. 1639 / S. 1461 – Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act

Whereas on April 26, 2010, December 20, 2010, and July 7, 2011 the U.S. Food & Drug Administration publicly posted their intent to regulate cigars in the Federal Register, it is incumbent upon the cigar enthusiasts of the United States to voice their opposition to any proposed new regulation of premium/traditional cigars by the United States Government.

House Resolution 1639 has been filed in the U.S. House of Representatives; and a companion bill, Senate Bill 1461, has been filed in the Senate. Both are filed under the banner of the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act. This bi-partisan legislation would decree that premium/traditional cigars should be off limits to FDA regulation and, ‘to clarify the Food & Drug Administration’s jurisdiction’ in the ‘sale, manufacturing and distribution of traditional and premium cigars.’

Such legislation could have a profound impact on protecting the industry, from the fields and factories of Central America , to the supply-chain throughout this nation, to the community tobacconist, to enjoying a cigar in the local shop, club or back porch.

We can assure you, nothing could rip the soul of the cigar industry apart, like FDA actions. For example, some of the (again) hypothetical possibilities, but that are not beyond the realm of reason include: No more walk in humidors (Canadian model); Limits on advertising and promotions; Banning the very word cigar or tobacco; Manufacturers having to submit blends to FDA for “testing,” before heading to your local shop – imagine the impact on boutique cigar makers; Adverse impact on flavored tobacco products; And price impact due to new fees on manufacturers. This, is the short list.

The FDA Wants Your Comments on Tobacco Regulations

October 13, 2009 · Posted in Assault on Cigars · 2 Comments 

The fun thing about being a member of Cigar Rights of America is that they will occasionally send emails out about important matters to us, the cigar smokers of America. (By the way, if you have not yet joined you should for all the right – and selfish – reasons.) One such email came a couple of days ago asking their members to tell the FDA what they think about proposed tobacco regulations. Here’s what it says:

The United States Food and Drug Administration has called for public comment on the implementation of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Cigar Rights of America, as a adult consumer based organization with members in all fifty states, is concerned with the approach the Center for Tobacco Products will take with regard to premium hand made cigars, and hereby calls all its members to post their personal comments on the FDA’s Regulations website.

As a guideline for your comment, please be sure to include the following:

MAIN POINT:
It is clear that premium hand made cigars are not a focal point of the statute nor the intent of the US Congress, but the overarching authority over all tobacco products gives us pause and concern. It is also clear that the authority granted to the US Food and Drug Administration by Congress did not have premium hand made cigars as a target of further regulatory burden.

SUPPORTING POINTS:
1) Premium hand made cigars are an adult focused product, in terms of their use, appeal and economic attraction, with the marketing and advertising of the product being principally in adult lifestyle oriented publications, hence not in any manner appealing to children.

2) It is also worthy to note that premium hand made cigars are internationally considered an art form, that allows for adults of legal age to truly appreciate the attraction and use of the product.

3) Premium hand made cigars are products made and sold principally by family oriented businesses. Therefore, additional regulatory burdens should not be imposed upon these backbones of American small business.

4) It is also noteworthy that many in the adult cigar user population enjoy flavored cigars, and because they are enjoyed by adults, and marketed and sold only to adults, that they should not receive the scrutiny of the agency.

SPECIAL NOTE TO CRA MEMBERS:
Please compose comments in your own words and DO NOT copy the text above. Your comments will have a greater impact if they are personally composed.

CLICK HERE TO POST YOUR COMMENTS TO THE FDA

The complete release can be found here.

This kind of outreach bolsters my confidence in CRA. Like I have said before, I joined this organization with some reservations about their effectiveness. CRA is communicating with its members some but can be doing so more often through email. Even so, score one for CRA.