Smokers of flavored cigars or cigarillo like CAO’s infused cigars, NUB’s coffee-infused cigar, or any other kind of infused cigars might find their days numbered. Recently, the Food & Drug Administration announced a ban on all flavored cigars, part of a multifaceted effort to take away menthol from cigarettes – the last allowed flavor since other flavors were banned in 2009.
A ban on flavored cigarettes according to the FDA has led inadvertently to a rise in flavored cigars, especially popular with women. The FDA noted that “the continued availability of flavored cigarette tobacco may have undermined the public health goals of the 2009 flavor ban,” according to a press release issued.
Although the FDA has said it hopes to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars “within the upcoming year,” this action is sure to face backlash from the companies behind these products. If such a ban were enacted, it could take years to become a reality.
According to the FDA, it is of great concern to its scientific team that the proposed ban will lead to a rise in flavored cigar consumption, primarily by underage smokers.
A flavored cigar is not like a traditional, handmade premium cigar, which Cigar Aficionado rates regularly. While the FDA’s ruling will not affect the premium cigar industry directly, several companies that make premium cigars are also involved in flavored cigar production.
A company such as Swisher, which owns Drew Estate, produces the most popular flavored cigar in America. It is marketed primarily in convenience stores and not in fine cigar shops. Drew provides cigar brands Liga Privada and Undercrown, as well as flavored Acid.
The flavor ban proposed by the European Council of Ministers for Health, Food, and Consumer Protection would also affect the Scandinavian Tobacco Group, which is Europe’s largest tobacco manufacturer. Besides its ownership of General Cigar Company, STG is also responsible for the brands flavored cigars and cigarillo brands including Flavors by CAO, Panter,and Café Crème.
As of yet, the FDA’s proposal is not set in stone. Next, the agency went to a Federal Register publication to obtain public comment on its proposed rules. “The next step has been assigned to the FDA.”
According to the agency, it will not prosecute consumers who possess flavored cigars, but rather will enforce the law by going after manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, importers, and retailers.