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Cigar industry fights back against possible FDA regulation

4:23 PM, Mar 25, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The FDA may extend its regulation beyond cigarettes, and focus on cigars, particularly the flavored ones.

Carlos Navarro has rounded up a good size clientele at his Southside cigar shop called, Aromas.  "We feel as a premium cigar market that our cigars are not intended for the teenage crowd," he said. 

Navarro explained how he thinks the government is going to be working against everything he, and other small shops owners, have built up.  "It would hurt our business, it would destroy our business."

Navarro and others in the industry are getting concerned because of all the talk of the Food and Drug Administration's ideas on possible regulation in the near future, similar to the types of controls they have imposed on the cigarette industry.  It would impact small shops like Aromas and larger manufacturers like Swisher here in Jacksonville.
 
Navarro said, "Cigars are all natural, they're all organic.  Cigarettes are made with chemicals and preservatives and stuff that give it the shelf life."

But there is a lot of research to show that cigars are not any safer than cigarettes, included this report from the Mayo Clinic.  In addition to warning of a number of other diseases linked to cigar smoking, its states this about cancer:  "All tobacco smoke contains more than 60 chemicals that can cause cancer, and cigar smoke is no exception."

We reached out to cigar maker Swisher International for a comment.  As of this posting, we have not yet heard back.

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