Reading Time: 2 minutes Foundation Cigar Co. prez, Nick Melillo, returns for this Master Blenders podcast episode to talk about Olmec, Metapa, two new blends from Charter Oak, and more, including how the inspiration for new blends comes from different cultures.
Cigar News: FDA’s Proposed Flavored Cigar Ban Called “Devastating”
Nearly $4 billion and as much as 47% of industry sales lost
Washington, DC —The Cigar Association of America (CAA) today released an economic impact fact sheet about the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposal to ban flavored cigars, showing the devastating effect it would have on the industry’s sales and employment, as well as on federal, state, and local tax revenue.
FDA’s justification for the ban is that flavors in cigars “increase appeal” to youth. While there are various measures of youth cigar usage, all have been declining and are at historic lows. Moreover, CAA points out that, according to the government’s own data, less than 0.6 percent of youth consume flavored cigars, so the ban’s “benefits would be almost non-existent.”
According to the document, in 2021 flavored cigars accounted for as much as 47 percent of the total industry cigar sales (depending on how FDA decides to apply the proposal’s vague definition of “characterizing flavor”), amounting to approximately seven billion cigars.
An economic impact analysis projected losses of nearly $4 billion in retail sales, over 16,000 jobs, and $840 million in wages, as well as an estimated $750 million in federal, state and local tax revenues.
CAA President David Ozgo said, “Since almost no youth use flavored cigars, any reduction in youth usage as a result of the proposed ban would be almost nonexistent. Thus, FDA proposes to crush a legitimate adult-focused industry, eliminate thousands of jobs, and sacrifice millions of dollars in tax revenue using the flimsiest of data. It is nothing less than a solution in search of a problem.”
FDA first filed the proposed rule on May 4, 2022. The Federal Register link can be found here.