Are kids smoking premium cigars? Absolutely not. Are kids buying premium cigars? Absolutely not. Are cigar brands purposefully marketing to kids? Absolutely not. So why is this such a heated debate? It’s pretty simple really, perception is reality. The perception the FDA has when it sees a resemblance to a cartoon character on a cigar is going to be that it’s targeting children. Their perception is their reality. And unfortunately, the FDA has the power to regulate the premium cigar industry.
So why would we want to intentionally poke the bear that can chew us up and spit us out? No one in the premium cigar industry is in favor of what the FDA is trying to do. However, there is a certain level of professionalism and responsibility that is expected out of everyone while we collectively fight the overreach in the courts. And that’s where the fight needs to be, in the courts and not amongst each other. I truly believe that we can all agree on these few points:
-Kids aren’t smoking premium cigars
-Kids aren’t buying premium cigars
-No one is purposefully marketing premium cigars towards children
-No one likes what the FDA is trying to do
-Let’s educate the bear, not poke it
It doesn’t matter that kids aren’t buying and smoking premium cigars. It doesn’t matter that brand x isn’t marketing to kids. All that matters is that right now we are giving the FDA the confirmation that they are looking for and dividing this industry in the process. We say this is a professional industry for adults, let’s start acting like it and come together for a unified front. No more calling each other out and dividing the industry into the old vs new. We are all in this together and want the same thing and our best shot is to do it together.