Proposed FDA cigar ban leaves traditional shops untouched

YBOR CITY, Fla — Cutting back on your cancer risk. That’s the logic behind the FDA’s proposed ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored tobacco.

But in a town like Ybor City, that’s known for cigars, ABC Action News wanted to know what the call meant for them.

“It doesn’t really change things because cigars in Ybor city have never really been flavored,” Drew Newman of the J.C. Newman Cigar Company said.

Newman said all that goes into their hand-rolled product is water, naturally dried tobacco, and adhesive.

“We roll about 55,000 cigars every day,” he said.

He noted most traditional cigar shops in the area have done it this way for decades.

“Anyone whose family has been here for a generation or more, their families worked in the cigar industry,” Newman said.

And it’s this connection between cigars and the history of the Bay area that has been a driving force for them to work with the FDA when it comes to protecting premium cigars from future bans.

“We’ve been talking with the FDA for a number of years simply to educate them about the history of cigars in Tampa and how our family and others hand-rolled premium cigars in the united states,” Newman said.

It’s also important to note, this proposed ban isn’t set in stone just yet. The FDA will be taking public comment on this proposed ban through July 5. And they’ll make their final decision after that.

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Linda J. Picard

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