Attention Cigar Smokers!
First things first: Cigar smoke is no less harmful to your health than cigarette smoke, according to the Mayo Clinic. But most cigar aficionados smoke in small quantities and don’t inhale. So while habitual, heavy smoking of cigars is decidedly bad for your health, the risks of enjoying an occasional celebratory stogie are relatively minor.
However, in the name of protecting the public from themselves, the government wants more control over how cigars can be sold. After grabbing the power to regulate cigarettes (tax them, control their sale and manufacture, and even how they’re advertised), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking to increase its power by regulating premium cigars.
The non-profit advocacy group Cigar Rights of America reports that the FDA seeks to implement the following restrictions:
- Ban walk-in humidors;
- Ban self-serve cigar displays;
- Ban mail order cigar sales;
- Ban all flavored cigars;
- Ban on marketing of cigar-related merchandise;
- Ban cigar events where free cigar samples are given away to legal-age adults;
- Limit how cigars can be marketed and advertised;
- Impose special taxes just on cigars;
- Mandate cigar blends be submitted to FDA for approval and authorization in order to sell it to the public; and more.
A Long-Term Cigar Storage Solution
What this all adds up to is the likelihood of higher prices for cigars in the future. If you smoke cigars, you can preempt both new government-imposed costs and general price inflation by investing in a humidor and keeping a long-term stash of cigars. In a properly controlled environment inside a humidor (68-70% humidity; a stable temperature around 70 degrees), cigars can stay fresh for months… even years. Some high-end U.S. cigar shops even sell legal, pre-Castro Cuban cigars – highly sought smokes that are half a century old!