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Take Your Stinking Paws Off My Cigars, You Dirty Bureaucrats
Townhall.com ^ | May 6, 2014 | Brandon Howell

Posted on 05/06/2014 9:03:32 AM PDT by Kaslin

For reasons passing understanding, the FDA announced recently that it was moving forward with invoking its authority to regulate cigars, along with other forms of tobacco.

It’s a part of the Tobacco Control Act, signed into law in 2009, which gave the agency the option of casting its net down on cigars at the time of its choosing. In other words – it was only a matter of time before bureaucrats decided to be bureaucrats.

It’s not set into stone, yet. Between now and July 9 the FDA will accept comments on its proposals, at which point it will the move forward with more regulations.

As someone who enjoys a stogie, I’m annoyed. As someone who thinks less is more when it comes to government red tape, I’m incensed. These new regulations amount to little more than higher costs that consumers will be saddled with the brunt of, all for benefits that reach nominal status at best.

What do they have in mind, exactly?

There are several potential avenues. The first would require all cigars made and introduced since February 2007 to be approved by the FDA. Because bureaucracy, timeliness, and efficiency. A second option would be proving that a new product matches the fitness of those produced before the starting date.

Cigar aficionados have noted that it should be easy, but if the FDA’s other dealings with tobacco offer an example, it won’t be. Some 4,000 applications for tobacco products under the agency’s jurisdiction have been submitted since the Tobacco Control Act’s passage, only 34 have gotten a ruling one way or the other.

Post-advocacy efforts, they’ve offered what appears an olive branch at surface level. As is often typical of the federal government, it’s anything but.

The exemption is directed the way of “premium” cigars. While many have long pushed for something along these lines, the FDA’s version of it amounts to a wholesale stifling of the marketplace.

The guidelines for such an exemption consist of eight points, two of which are most troubling. One states that for a cigar to be “premium,” it mustn’t “have a characterizing flavor other than tobacco” and the other mandates that it must cost more than $10 to be exempted.

In other words – so long innovation, hello higher prices and more regulation.

How so? There’s a cigar seasoned with Maker’s Mark bourbon. While it meets one of the two, it’s characterized with something other than tobacco, so we’re assuming it’ll have to get in line.

The FDA makes no clarification of what its terms mean, which should trigger alarms from the get-go.

As for the cost threshold, at least one study has estimated that roughly 85 percent or so of cigars purchased by consumers will not make the proverbial cut. Given the entire process of approval and the bureaucracy behind it, it means new cigars under $10 are unlikely to see the light of day for quite a while.

The logic behind this is anything but logical.

There’s nothing showing a demonstrable health difference between cigars priced at $11 and those priced at $9. So what we’re getting is an arbitrarily-based price cutoff, not something rooted in science and tangible evidence. Congress has mandated as much from the FDA, but it’s clear they’re not interested in following such a procedure.

Common-sense regulations on tobacco are warranted and necessary, I’m not saying otherwise. What I am saying is that this reeks of little more than regulatory politics as usual, not a worthwhile use of taxpayer-funded resources.

The handmade cigar market is one catered exclusively towards adults and is responsible for more than a handful of American jobs.

A deluge of new regulations here will do little more than endanger those jobs and impose higher costs for no scientific reason. Taxpayers, cigar consumers in particular, shouldn’t be footing the bill for these shenanigans.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: fda; regulations; tobacco

1 posted on 05/06/2014 9:03:32 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Congress has no authority under Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution to regulate tobacco.

/johnny

2 posted on 05/06/2014 9:10:26 AM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Kaslin

When they came for the cigar smokers I did not speak out because I was not a cigar smoker.


3 posted on 05/06/2014 9:11:15 AM PDT by from occupied ga (Your government is your most dangerous enemy)
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To: Kaslin

So I like to smoke a cigar every now and then (usually prefer my pipe). I fail to see what the current issue is that needs to be fixed? What problem is society bearing, that the big government can come in and solve?


4 posted on 05/06/2014 9:11:16 AM PDT by Svartalfiar
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To: Kaslin

Bureaucrats, by their very nature, are busybodies who want nothing less then to stick their noses into everyboy else’s business.

They are the sniveling, little schoolyard snitches of the nation.


5 posted on 05/06/2014 9:13:16 AM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: Jack Hammer

Plenty anti smoking posters here

I fart in their general direction


6 posted on 05/06/2014 9:14:49 AM PDT by wardaddy (we will not take back our way of life through peaceful means.....i have 5 kids....i fear for them)
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To: Kaslin

Slick Willie is saddened.


7 posted on 05/06/2014 9:17:05 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: Kaslin
Related Story
8 posted on 05/06/2014 9:18:38 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: wardaddy

Careful - congressional regulation of farting is next.


9 posted on 05/06/2014 9:18:46 AM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: wardaddy

How before significant numbers of pipe and cigar smokers will begin to grow their own at home?

I wonder if they’ll get SWATTED at 3am some night...


10 posted on 05/06/2014 9:21:00 AM PDT by William of Barsoom (In Omnia, Paratus)
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To: Kaslin

This is yet another manifestation of a government that is too big for its enumerated powers and so big that it has outstripped the willingness of the citizens to fund it. It has assumed the power of debasing the currency by creating money and credit out of thin air. In fact, it is creating so much money that some of its bureaucrats and officials think they no longer have to get permission from the taxpayer.

When enough states call for an Article V convention to consider amendments to the Constitution, the first order of business must be to restrict the federal government’s spending powers. This will thus be the first limit on its overreach of power beyond those enumerated and in any case will serve to force officials to set priorities that are more in line with their enumerated powers.

The Iron Law of bureaucracy is that they seek to expand their own power until some sufficient outside power restrains them. They will never restrain themselves. (This is why the self-funding CFPB is so dangerous and will some day become its own monster and destroyer of liberty).

The downside of efforts to restrict government spending will be when the ability of government to fund pet projects and to fund our military is force to be more rational. The US has been way over-extended for so long that some conservatives cannot tell reality from the mirage that is paid for via fiat-money. When our military is cut, there will be a lot of crying from power-loving “conservatives” who are really lovers of Big government in camo drag.

The world will change as China, Russia and others rush to occupy the vacuum we must leave when our military is resized to financial reality. But then so will liberals when their welfare state also must be cut. Our present trajectory of print, borrow and spend is simply not “sustainable”, a concept the left loves to hammer all of us about when they claim the high moral ground.


11 posted on 05/06/2014 9:23:29 AM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: Jack Hammer

Exactly. Every bureaucrat feels that they must justify their job by creating endless reams of regulations.


12 posted on 05/06/2014 9:28:09 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: Svartalfiar

“So I like to smoke a cigar every now and then (usually prefer my pipe).”

This same pile of crap law/regulation is going to tax your pipe tobacco ....over 2,000%!

You read that right, the tobacco tax on pipe tobacco is going up that much.

They are going to add the taxes and regulations to e-cigs too.


13 posted on 05/06/2014 9:28:45 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Unions are an Affirmative Action program for Slackers! .)
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To: Jack Hammer
Careful - congressional regulation of farting is next.

If they ever try to regulate halitosis they're sure to exempt themselves....for obvious reasons.

14 posted on 05/06/2014 9:28:46 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Stalin Blamed The Kulaks,Obama Blames The Tea Party)
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To: Jack Hammer
Bureaucrats by their very nature are fascists and whores.
They are attracted to power and money likes rats to decaying trash.They desire power and money to fuel their megalomaniac urge to control anything and everything....eventually.Their obsessions know no bounds.
Power and money use these useful idiots to strangle competition and wring more profit, via higher prices, from customers that reluctantly accept the increased burden of higher prices....because it is good for us!!!! The government is protecting us. Yeah!!!!! Right!!!!
15 posted on 05/06/2014 9:29:03 AM PDT by free from tyranny
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To: Kaslin
I've never thot myself a libertarian..BUT THOSE A-HOLES are over the line..
I can't wait for the 2nd coming..Bet ya Jesus won't dis-allow cigar smoking!!!!!!!!
16 posted on 05/06/2014 9:40:07 AM PDT by Paul46360
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To: Kaslin
Way back when there was a battle in Oregon to reduce Cigar taxes:

http://www.smokeshopmag.com/1001/tax.htm

What do you think happened? Tax revenues more than doubled despite the decrease in taxes (I cannot any longer find reference to that, but it's true).

So what does a bureaucrat do when faced with such data? They increase taxes. http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/pipe-news/oregon-considers-controversial-tobacco-tax-increases/

and to summarize what happens when they pull this crap: http://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/the-laffer-curve-strikes-again-3/

(by the way, they did NOT maintain the cigar tax cap. Cigars went to prior levels, if not more)

17 posted on 05/06/2014 9:40:42 AM PDT by logi_cal869
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To: wardaddy

I don’t smoke, but I enjoy a good cigar with a Colorado Bulldog now and then! Nothin’ wrong with it, IMHO.


18 posted on 05/06/2014 10:26:56 AM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (There are those that break and bend. I'm the other kind. ~Steve Earle)
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To: theBuckwheat
This is yet another manifestation of a government that is too big for its enumerated powers and so big that it has outstripped the willingness of the citizens to fund it.

Government has grown so large that it now controls the people. It will not entrench. It has to be destroyed. Are the sheeple of America ready to do such. Ans: NO. This will only change if an all-out civil war happens & the public school children with their electronic crapola have no stomach for such. They are no different than the former USSR & as Solzhenitsyn stated the people went willing scared thinking being nice would get them a pass. So live it, love it in the new commie USA.

19 posted on 05/06/2014 10:45:48 AM PDT by Digger
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To: Jack Hammer

Ditto that!!


20 posted on 05/06/2014 10:59:56 AM PDT by Osage Orange (I have strong feelings about gun control. If there's a gun around, I want to be controlling it.)
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To: wardaddy
Ha!!

I might just burn a Fuente Fuente Opus X tonight!!!

21 posted on 05/06/2014 11:07:49 AM PDT by Osage Orange (I have strong feelings about gun control. If there's a gun around, I want to be controlling it.)
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To: Kaslin

This is ridiculous. I buy lots of premium cigars on sale for less than $10/stick. Most of the ones I get are 85-94 rated and cost @ $3 each.

This will just make all cigars cost $10.


22 posted on 05/06/2014 11:23:34 AM PDT by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: Svartalfiar

The liberals need control over people’s lives.


23 posted on 05/06/2014 11:25:27 AM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: William of Barsoom
Currently, growing tobacco at home is perfectly legal. I've got tobacco growing in my garden now.

/johnny

24 posted on 05/06/2014 3:06:49 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Beagle8U
Does this particular regulatory action raise the taxes on pipe tobacco? Is that is writing somewhere that I can see it? Because all I've seen is rumor, and no facts.

/johnny

25 posted on 05/06/2014 3:08:43 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Digger
Speak for yourself. Some of us are actively resisting and not complying with the federal over-reach.

They can only kill me once.

/johnny

26 posted on 05/06/2014 3:11:35 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Ditto, but mine is still in the greenhouse. I buy a short season tobacco that does well in my area.

A bonus, growing it on the edge around my larger gardens keeps the deer, elk and moose out. They have no interest in tobacco so never try to bash through the plants.

Written on my porch, as I enjoy one of our additive-free, homegrown cigs...


27 posted on 05/06/2014 11:13:32 PM PDT by hearthwench (Debbi - Mom, NaNa, and always ornery)
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To: JRandomFreeper

I posted that for you over a week ago, did you read it?


28 posted on 05/07/2014 9:32:28 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Unions are an Affirmative Action program for Slackers! .)
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To: Beagle8U
I saw a lot of speculation, but nothing in this particular rule-making that raises pipe tobacco tax %2200.

/johnny

29 posted on 05/07/2014 9:40:53 AM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper; All

“Tobacco Taxes Parity: Increases the excise tax on small cigarettes; equalizes excise taxes for pipe tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco; clarifies the definition of small cigars; and closes an existing loophole to end mislabeling of tobacco products.”

http://www.harkin.senate.gov/press/release.cfm?i=339333


30 posted on 05/07/2014 9:54:00 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Unions are an Affirmative Action program for Slackers! .)
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