Updates From CRA

The Cigar Nut

FLORIDA OUTDOOR SMOKING BAN BILL ADVANCES IT HAS TO BE STOPPED – NOW.

The Florida Senate Regulated Industries Committee, by a unanimous 10-0 vote, advanced SB 258 that will allow Florida local governments to enact their own outdoor smoking restrictions. It must be stopped. Now.

There are 410 incorporated municipalities in Florida, with 283 cities within 67 counties. The thought of creating such a quilt of ordinances and regulations on the cigar consumers and tourists of Florida, is mind boggling. This is nothing more than nanny-state pandering to a collection of local governments clamoring to regulate another part of your life, and a foundation of the Florida economy and culture.

Florida State Senator Charlie Dean, R-Iverness, and Senator Alan Hayes, R-Umatilla are the chief sponsors of SB 258. Joining them in the Florida House of Representatives with HB 439, which would also allow local government smoking bans in Florida, is Representative Rob Bradley, R-Orange Park.

These legislators need to learn what cigars mean to the Florida economy, with over 200 premium cigar establishments, cigar company corporate offices, and dozens of cigar themed outdoor festivals that stimulate local economies.

Over the course of the last week, Oklahoma and Virginia have defeated similar pieces of legislation. The Florida House and Senate need to do the same.
TODAY, call and email your members of the Florida legislature. Tell them to defeat SB 258 and HB 439. Tell them you’ll remember, on Election Day.

STATE TAX INCREASE PROPOSALS THAT MUST BE DEFEATED

The following states have serious tax proposals pending within their state legislatures that need to be defeated. If you live in these states, get involved. Call and write your member of the legislature, to do your part in preventing these tax increases on cigars.

Kentucky
H.B. 142 would raise the OTP on cigars from 15% to 40% of the wholesale price.

Maryland
HB 683 and SB 700 would raise the OTP on cigars from 30% to 95%, with cigars with a wholesale price of less than $20 taxed at 95% or $3 cap.

Minnesota
HF 91 would increase the OTP on cigars from 70% to 90%. Also, SF 552 and 677 in Minnesota need to be defeated.

Nebraska
LB 439 would increase the OTP from 20% to 31%.

New Mexico
HB 428 would increase the OTP on cigars from 25% to 53%.

Oregon
HB 2481, HB 2870 and SB 119 would allow Oregon local governments to impose their own levels of tobacco taxation.

Smoking Ban Update from the States

Join us in helping to defeat statewide smoking ban legislation in Kentucky, Alabama, Texas, Indiana, Iowa, and Missouri!

SUPPORT HB 1750 in the State of Washington! Let’s work together to get the simple enjoyment of a great cigar back into Washington cigar shops and lounges! Call and email your legislators in Olympia!

SUPPORT HB 2219 in the State of Kansas! This legislation would allow smoking back into select private businesses that meet certain (reasonable) criteria. A step in the right direction, and a potential model for others.

H.R. 792 – Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act

Did you know that on April 26, 2010, December 20, 2010, and July 7, 2011 the U.S. Food & Drug Administration publicly posted their intent to regulate cigars in the Federal Register?

Some of the measures FDA could consider, as we believe they are, include:

Ban on walk-in humidors, self serve cigar displays, and mail-order cigar sales;
Ban on all flavored cigars, that are enjoyed by legal-age adults;
Deface ornate, decorative cigar boxes, often considered an art form with grotesque images;
Ban on cigar events where free cigars (samples) could be available to legal-age adults;
Limits on cigar marketing and advertising;
Imposition of new ‘user fees’ [tax] on cigars, to finance regulations;
Limits on special release and small-batch cigars, due to mandates that cigar blends be submitted to FDA for pre-approval before release;
Limits on nicotine levels on cigars to near zero, severely impacting the flavor of cigars;
Ban on marketing cigar merchandise.

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