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Weekly Cigar News Sampler: Lawsuit Against FDA Progresses, New Cigars from BLK WKS, Anti-Tobacco Junk Science, and More

17 Feb 2017

As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post our sampling of cigar news and other items of interest from the week. Below is our latest, which is the 518th in the series.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

1) This week, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (pictured above), the Cigar Association of America, International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association, and Cigar Rights of America filed a motion for summary judgment and opening brief in a lawsuit challenging the FDA’s cigar regulations. The three industry associations are asking the court to deem the regulations unlawful and in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act and the First and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution. The summary judgement can be read in its entirety here. Among the cigar industry’s arguments are claims that the FDA is (1) arbitrarily imposing premarket review provisions without clarifying the substantial equivalence pathway for cigars, (2) applying the regulations to premium cigars without any basis for doing so, (3) levying unreasonable burdens on small businesses, and (4) forcing the adoption of warning labels without citing statutorily mandated findings. “The premium cigar industry continues its adamant objection to the [FDA regulation] and its defective implementation,” said Glynn Loope, executive director of Cigar Rights of America, in an email press release. “This process has resulted in premium hand-made cigars being subjected to requirements that will cause irreparable economic harm to this artisan industry…” The lawsuit hearing is scheduled for July 28.

2) Maybe you’ve seen the headlines declaring smoking bans instantly save lives. Well, the real science is in, and… not so much. “While science can inform, though not fully determine, the boundaries of where people are allowed to smoke, the debunking of the previous decade’s heart miracles should provide some grounds for humility. It may be neither feasible nor desirable to set back the clock and permit smoking everywhere, but laws in a liberal society can accommodate the rights and preferences of smokers and business owners far better than they do now.” In an exchange with the author of the Slate article, the study authors even admitted that, in fact, the 40% reduction in heart attacks they claimed had a margin of error so great the true number could actually be just 1%.

3) Inside the Industry: Black Works Studio (BLK WKS), a project of Black Label Trading Co., yesterday announced two new event-only cigars that will be available starting in March. The first, Green Hornet Kato (4.5 x 46), will feature an Ecuadorian Maduro wrapper with a “Candela swirl cap and closed foot” and retail for $9.50. The second, Killer Bee Lonsdale (6.5 x 42), will sport an Ecuadorian Maduro wrapper with a “Connecticut linear cap” and retail for $9. Both are made at Black Label Trading Co.’s Fabrica Oveja Negra factory in Estelí. “We are very excited to launch these new additions to the Killer Bee and Green Hornet lines,” said company founder James Brown. “Both of these cigars are unique versions of the original blends and highlight the creativity of our factory. I wanted something special for our retailers who support us with events, and these two cigars are exactly that.”

4) From the Archives: Talisker Distillers Edition 1996 Single Malt Whisky: “As is characteristic of Talisker, peaty and smokey flavors dominate. But underneath is an added sweet element, with rich dried fruit and toffee. The finish is long and spicy with a hint of chocolate… With it’s double cask aging, it simultaneously has the classic salt water peat flavors I’ve come to expect and enjoy from Talisker coupled with a hint of sweetness that reminds me of a fine bourbon. Not surprisingly, the Talisker Distillers Edition 1996 makes for an excellent pairing with a fine cigar.”

5) Deal of the Week: Ten cigars (and some pretty good ones, too). Just $30.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Google Maps

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