After one branch of the U.S. government nearly declared pizza sauce a vegetable, another branch is issuing new tobacco regulations that are vexing the cigar industry.
Not that tobacco- and pizza-related issues should be even slightly similar but the comparison does elucidate the caprice of the government when it comes to regulation of substances people like to put inside their body. Regarding the former substance, a bill being considered by the USDA has the potential to enact a series of new regulations on the cigar industry and has understandably gotten cigar connoisseurs up in arms. BestCigarPrices.com, a leading cigar distributor, issued a statement today detailing some of the ways in which the new USDA regulation can aversely affect the cigar industry:
Cigar Rights of America, who have created a petition in order to garner support from cigar enthusiasts, also fear that the new regulation would "deface ornate, decorative cigar boxes," which, if you've ever seen one, are pretty aesthetically pleasing. They also work as great storage boxes and, by the sheer mystique of using a cigar box to store something, seems to automatically increase the value of the mementos you store in them.
At any rate. To legislatively combat this impending regulation, Cigar Rights of America partnered with legislators to draft a bill that would exempt premium cigars from the USDA's regulation. The provision, which aims to exempt premium cigars from the new regulation would aim to protect jobs and small business owners involved in the cigar industry. In order to keep the cigar industry from being affected, the statement said, the act must garner support from at least 20 U.S. Senators and 150 House Representatives.
Given that cigars are enjoyed by a special group, it's not like there's a deluge of advertising campaigns trying to entice children to start smoking sweet watermelon-flavored cigars or anything devious like that. If there is, the campaign has been stealthy and brilliant because I've never seen it, but I'm going to assume that such a covert ad blitz is non-existent and cigars are enjoyed by a select niche of people. And while these concerns of Cigar Rights of Americas are hypothetical - it's not even guaranteed that the USDA would micromanage cigar sales with the new regulations - I think anybody that's paid attention to the Internet lately can understand the fear involved in "hypothetical" applications of new laws.