U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) reintroduced the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act, which seeks to exempt premium cigars from excessive and overly burdensome U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations and fees. Rubio first introduced this legislation in 2011 along with former Senator Bill Nelson.
Joining Rubio as co-sponsors of the legislation were Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Rick Scott (R-FL), John Barrasso (R-WY), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Boozman (R-AR), and John Kennedy (R-LA).
“The premium cigar industry is an iconic staple in Florida’s economy,” Rubio said. “For far too long, small and family-owned businesses have been facing the threat of regulation that could force many to close their shops. I am proud to reintroduce this legislation that would provide Florida premium cigar makers the certainty they need to continue their craft, and I urge my colleagues to swiftly pass this bill.”
“From Tampa’s Ybor City to Miami’s Little Havana, handcrafted cigars have been an important part of Florida’s cultural heritage for more than 150 years,” said Drew Newman, fourth-generation cigar maker at J.C. Newman Cigar Co. in Tampa. “Today, Florida’s historic premium cigar industry supports thousands of jobs, from farmers to cigar rollers to retailers. We are tremendously grateful to Sen. Rubio for his continued leadership and advocacy in support of small, family businesses in Florida.”