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Weekly Cigar News Sampler: Bill Protecting Cigars from FDA Passes Committee, IPCPR Draws to a Close, and More

14 Jul 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 539th in the series.

1) On Wednesday, as the industry gathered in Las Vegas for the 85th annual IPCPR Trade Show, the U.S House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations passed a bill that includes language that would protect premium cigars from harmful FDA regulations. While this vital protection still has a long, uphill journey before it becomes law, Cigar Rights of America (CRA) hailed it as a positive step in the right direction. “The action taken today by the House Committee on Appropriations for a second consecutive year is yet again another clear and definitive statement that Congress never intended for premium cigars to be treated like other tobacco products,” said J. Glynn Loope, executive director of CRA. “Congress continues to recognize the unique differences between premium cigars, and this language is a symbol that any effort by the FDA to regulate them would run contrary to the intent of Congress.” CRA specifically thanked Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt (R-AL) for their leadership on this issue.

2) The IPCPR Trade Show concludes today, heralding an end to the industry’s biggest event of the year. As in years’ past, will make considerable efforts to acquire and review the new cigars that debuted on the convention floor in Las Vegas. Be sure to check back often over the coming months for our concise, conflict-free assessments of many of the new entrants to the marketplace. As you do, however, recall there’s no need to get slammed on the new release treadmill. And remember that many retailers will be announcing (or have already announced) clearance sales on older smokes as they try to make room on their shelves for newer products; this can be a great time to stock up on reliable favorites.

3) British writer Brendan O’Neil is definitely not a fan of his country’s smoking ban: “It is ten years since smoking in public places was banned in England. Ten years since officials decreed that we could no longer light up at work, in restaurants, in pubs, and even at bus stops. Ten years since you could follow your Tiramisu with the satisfying throat hit of a drag of nicotine. Ten years since pubs were fuggy and convivial, packed with hoarse ladies telling stories and old blokes propping up the bar rather than shiny-haired new dads wearing a baby in a sling and wondering whether to treat themselves to buffalo wings or mac’n’cheese balls. Seriously. Babies in pubs. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.” Read the whole thing here.

4) Whiskey writer Fred Minnick says bourbon could be the victim of a U.S.-E.U. trade war over steel: “If President Trump follows through on his threat to impose tariffs on steel imports, expect to see an immediate response from the European Union—including retaliatory tariffs on, of all things, bourbon. This may seem an oddly disproportionate choice. Everyone needs steel; bourbon, on the other hand, is just a hipster fad and a good-ole-boy mainstay, right? In fact, a punitive tariff on bourbon and other American whiskeys would be both a symbolic and a substantive body blow—a strike at a unique American product that is enormously popular overseas.”

5) From the Archives: Forget the latest; stick with the greatest. For over a decade, we’ve given a small percentage of the nearly 1,000 cigars we’ve reviewed our highest rating of five stogies out of five. Check them out here.

6) Deal of the Week: We recommend Bespoke Post, a monthly collection of awesome items (think fine bar accessories, shaving kits, wine, workout gear, coffee kits, and more) delivered to your door for just $45. Currently available is “Toast,” featuring four cigars by H. Upmann and Romeo y Julieta, along with a cigar carrying pouch and a small desktop humidor. You can skip or purchase every month. Sign up to get the July shipment.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Flickr

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