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To Those Courageous Men And Women Who Came To This Country In Search Of Personal Freedom, Economic Opportunity And A Future Of Hope For their Families
These words, etched on the Immigrant Statue in historic Ybor City, ring hollow in the face of regulatory onslaught by the Food and Drug Administration’s (“FDA”) “Deeming Rule.”3 FDA is destroying personal freedom, eliminating economic opportunity for small businesses engaged in the premium cigar industry, and crushing hope for a better life for those working so hard to feed and clothe their families. These people and their families deserve better and should be treated fairly. FDA’s regulatory abuse in this case is unfair and un-American.
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Inexplicably, FDA ignored all comments from the premium cigar industry, Congress, local government, media, and the citizens of the United States, particularly those affected in ways large and small by FDA’s power grab.
Had FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services existed during the period of 1885–1930, the ill-conceived regulation of the premium cigar industry would have destroyed Ybor City’s factories and put thousands of immigrants out of work. FDA now belatedly and disastrously inserts itself into the biography of the premium cigar industry and generations of cigar growers and producers. But the result is the same. Simply put, FDA’s “Deeming Rule” threatens to destroy a $20 billion industry and put at least 20,000 Americans out of work.14
As noted in a recent letter by several Members of Congress to Vice President Michael R. Pence, “when Congress passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in 2009, its stated intent was to prevent youth access to tobacco products and the negative health effects of smoking addiction. Neither of these concerns applies to premium cigars which are consumed in moderation and by adult consumers.”