Each day, those who have a tobacco business are faced with the task of recreating their visions and reinventing their brands and companies to help them both move forward. The fear of stagnation and a loss of inspiration is what keeps many motivated—the success of these products and brands are your passion, your life and what inspires you to wake up every day and live your dream. It’s too bad that in the pursuit of success and entrepreneurship we have our dear friend, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to also contend with.
Since the last issue of Tobacco Business, the FDA has issued a 90-day extension for many of its compliance deadlines. This is a topic we’ve been covering and reporting on extensively through tobaccobusiness.com because we know how important FDA regulation is to many of you and how it’s changing how we all do business. This extension was brought on by the change in administration and the FDA needing additional time to review and respond to the lawsuit brought on by the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR), Cigar Rights of America (CRA) and the Cigar Association of America (CAA). In addition to maintaining innovation and creating something customers and consumers will continue to buy, now we also have to work toward compliance and meeting the standards set by the FDA—as if we needed another challenge or obstacle in our daily grind.
Here’s the truth of the matter: The FDA may have changed how many conduct business and it may have slowed new product releases, but it hasn’t killed the entrepreneurial spirit. We saw it in full effect at this year’s Tobacco Plus Expo (TPE) and expect to see it at this year’s IPCPR show in just a few weeks. Manufacturers are continually working on complying with the FDA’s deeming rules, but they aren’t closing up shop and calling it a day by any means. To show that the premium cigar and tobacco industry is very much alive and well, Tobacco Business has an extra-special IPCPR show-themed issue for you this month.