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Cigar News: FDA’s Proposed Flavored Cigar Ban Called “Devastating”

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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.

cigar advisor news - fda’s proposed flavored cigar ban called dvastating - relase - CAA logoCAA 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.

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Edmond Dantes
1 year ago

I call B.S.
I personally don’t know anyone whom smokes flavored cigars. I do, however, see them being sold in gas stations regularly. They also sell a small tool that is used to split the wrapper and binder, so it can be stuffed with weed.

Flavored cigars started out as a sales gimmick and morphed into a profitable nuisance. The only people against banning these are those that will lose money.

Jared Gulick
1 year ago
Reply to  Edmond Dantes

Edmond, flavored and infused cigars have an enormous market. I even enjoy them from time to time.

The point here is that banning these cigars will set a precedent that’s impossible to unset, allowing them to focus on traditional cigars with less opposition down the road.

Flavored cigars—and natural premium smokes—aren’t marketed to children. Young adults? Absolutely, but they’re adults and legally able to make that decision.

We should be rallying to save all cigars. Who knows what they’ll come for next.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and Executive Editor of Cigar Advisor. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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