May 5, 2016, otherwise known as "Cinco de Mayo", was a rough day for the cigar industry - both on the business and on the consumer fronts, as we had to digest the announcement of the US Food and Drug Administration's rule on their regulation of tobacco products, including premium cigars. Lots of raw emotions were shared, especially on social media. Cigar enthusiasts who previously took the efforts of the Cigar Rights of America (CRA) for granted, were now motivated and mobilized to take action and join the fight for congressional support to exempt premium cigars from FDA regulation. Below is a heartfelt "open letter" written by New York's Matty Rock of Rock the Galaxy Promotions that I absolutely HAD to share - take a read of his (unedited) sentiments....
Open letter to the FDA:
Thank you SO very much for worrying about my health in regards to cigars. Thank you for making my choices for me, it is greatly appreciated. I would also like to thank you for taking the time to understand why I and millions of other people smoke cigars.
Just a few facts I would like to share with you upstanding citizens of the FDA
I have never killed someone while driving after smoking cigars because it impeded my judgment…even after smoking a whole bunch!
After smoking a cigar, I never became violent or wanted to start a fight and assault someone. I have never felt sad, depressed or suicidal after smoking a cigar.
I have never suffered the effects of blurry vision, body aches or any other types of symptoms after smoking a cigar.
Actually, all of these symptoms above are caused by “legal” drugs that the FDA has allowed and approved.
Ladies and gentlemen of the FDA, you will claim that all of the “aftereffects” stated above by the drugs you approve and hook America on, outweighs the risk of the symptom or illness you are fighting. I find that quite interesting. You claim that we will die of mouth / lung /whatever cancer from smoking cigars. Let’s forget that your case studies on that are shaky and many doctors have attested, claimless.
Now, with that said, why do I smoke cigars, and what do they do for me?
Cigars for me have been nothing less than a life saver. They allow me to have a quiet, introspective moment to calmly reflect on things. As opposed to drinking, this is how I “let off steam." I get to spend time with and socialize with other brothers and sisters of the leaf. You know those rowdy parties where people fight, stab and shoot each other…. No, wait, that would be the scene of a club or a bar…you don’t hear about things like that happening with the cigar crowd. We have recently had a cigar festival that hosted over 6k people. I am sure if you ask the local authorities, there were no reports of riots, fights, disorderly conduct…..
Another reason I smoke cigars? It keeps me away from “other” recreational activities. When you take away my cigars, my ability to have that calm, peaceful, reflective time, you have now opened the doors on me resorting to other things. Perhaps you would prefer me drunk or high? I’m relatively sure that would cause far WORSE heath issues, don’t you think? Not just for me, but the people around me as well.
So, what I ask is that you think about cigars THE SAME WAY you think about the drugs that you approve and keep the American public addicted to, despite all the warnings and side effects. I have just proven to you, that any of YOUR proclaimed side effects related to cigars are greatly outweighed by the benefit that they offer to the consumer. You know, the same logic you currently use now for prescription drugs. Pretty sure that nobody has shot up a movie theater after smoking cigars, although I am ENTIRELY sure people have after using your “approved” drugs.
Practice not only what you preach as an organization, consider using common sense.