The cigar making Industry is dying in Tampa. With King Corona Cigars up for sale and the premium cigar dealers fighting against the FDA on the type of Ingredients to be allowed in their cigars. But as one door closes and another one continues to remain open, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the dying industry that once brought boom and wealth into Tampa.

Light a stogie

The Food and Drug Administration has requested the ingredients to be released to them from local cigar industries in Tampa to be tested and analyzed. The deadline for that is in February, and no one is happy when the FDA starts to investigate what is inside your merchandise.

The new requirements are also made for tobacco products that are used in smoking pipes or hookahs.

The new regulations come from the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. This means the FDA can regulate any form of smoking whether it is an electronic cigarette to a cigar. But fighting the measure in Tampa will take some time. As of now, the deadline for the release of ingredients in any tobacco product has been delayed to August 2021, a small victory in an uphill battle. E-cigarette makers will have to submit ingredient results in 2022.

Fighting for business

Eric Newman is the president of J.C. Newman Cigar Co. The Tampa Bay Times interviewed him about the new Act and what it means for his business.

"It is an opportunity to keep cigars in Cigar City," Newman said.

Under the Family Smoking Prevention Act, tobacco products made before 2007 will not be tested and grandfathered in. For those tobacco the products manufactured before August 8, 2016, it means that they would need the ingredients for those tobacco products for testing.

That is where Newman is fighting not to disclose his ingredients to the FDA because it could mean losing most of his blends. Thankfully he has 3 1/2 more years to wait.

Testing cigar blends could cost between $1,400 and $23,000 per cigar blend. It could mean for most companies like Newman to stop selling some blends and produce a limited quantity of cigars, which could mean closing down the business and making Cigar City only a portion of Tampa Bay history.

As for the small business that could be affected by this new deal, they are already feeling the financial struggle of sending out their ingredients to the FDA for testing.

"The sentiment in Washington is that overregulation kills small business," Newman said, "We hope that sentiment gives us relief."