Today the Premium Cigar Association submitted a comment to the European Commission in reference to its “Framework for Tobacco Control” related to the 2040 Tobacco Free agenda. This agenda would ultimately lead to the ban of sale and use of any tobacco or nicotine derived device from the European Union market by 2040. The first step in this full prohibition is the implementation of plain packaging, or close to plain packaging. Cigar boxes would be at least 80% covered in warning labels, grotesque images and standardized green color. This, if imposed, would now be across the European Union and cover all tobacco products.
The Premium Cigar Association submitted a comment working alongside experts at the European Manufactures Association who are leading efforts in Europe to protect handmade cigars. PCA’s comment relied heavily on the health effects of premium cigar use not warranting graphic images or adopting more intrusive regulations than are already in existence. The European Union has some of the strictest tobacco laws in the world and high taxes.
If these restrictions are implemented in the European Union, other nations will likely follow suit. This is not based in science; it is based in the government admitting they do not believe you can make a decision on your own. The studies on the health effects of premium cigars are out there, the studies on youth access and usage are out there, and the studies of the declining rate of smoking are out there. Even with the available data showing that there is no need to take this simple pleasure away from people, here is just the most recent example of this kind of legislation gaining support.
Joshua Habursky, the Deputy Executive Director of the Premium Cigar Association said: “Anti-tobacco groups have been organized globally for many years. It’s time that we start cooperating across borders to protect handmade cigars and we are grateful of ECMA Director General Paul Varkas for leading this effort. PCA is committed to our mission of protecting specialty tobacco retailing from Washington to Warsaw, Boston to Brussels and large cities to small towns.”
Paul Varakas, the Director General of the European Cigar Manufacturers Association said: “With plain packaging and a full-flavour ban looming in the upcoming years, EU politicians need to be reminded that cigars are different from other tobacco and nicotine products. ECMA will continue to work with like-minded organizations all across the globe to deliver this simple – yet essential – message.”
To further foster international discussion on premium cigar policy, PCA will be hosting a breakout session on Sunday July 10th at 2pm in Room 302 at the PCA 2022 Trade Show and an International Policy Summit (in-person) in Washington, DC on November 16th and 17th.