Charitable donations halted…for now
On Monday, the Tampa Bay Times reported on Thompson Cigar’s century of giving. Since World War I, Thompson has donated free cigars to our troops in active theaters of war. All that came to a halt on August 8 when the new FDA Deeming regulations took effect.
One of the new FDA regulations prohibits handing out free samples of tobacco products. That, and an existing rule under the Tobacco Control Act that forbids charitable distribution of tobacco products that now applies to cigars, spelled the end of charitable giving to the troops.
The article quoted Alix Franzblau, Chief Operating Officer at Thompson as saying the donations “reached the level of lore, and the troops know it.”
Rocky Patel, owner of Rocky Patel Premium Cigar Co. in Bonita Springs was also quoted.
“The troops are out there putting their lives on the line to protect our freedoms, rights and privileges, and the federal government is taking away those same freedoms and rights,” he said.
The complete article can be found here.
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Democrat from Tampa agrees. Late Monday evening the Tampa Bay Times reported that she had sent a letter to Franzblau indicating that she plans to file a bill to “specifically address allowing charitable contributions of premium cigars to U.S. military members and non-profit organizations that support them.”
“FDA’s regulations are unreasonable and I will do everything I can to change them so that our troops do not miss out on the generosity of companies like yours,” Castor wrote.
Franzblau said the bill is a step in the right direction, though the industry still has grave concerns about the overall effects of the rules.
That complete article can be found here.