AP NEWS

Florida lawmakers push to exempt premium cigar industry

April 6, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — They say politics makes strange bedfellows.

Sometimes in Florida, cigars do too.

Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, Democratic U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and Republican U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis are pushing to exempt premium cigars from federal rules that require a Surgeon General’s warning to cover a third of a product’s packaging and require the cigar makers to submit reports on manufacturing processes.

The lawmakers were at a hearing on Friday on the future of the premium cigar industry in Tampa’s Ybor City.

The Tampa Bay Times reports both Rubio and Castor have introduced bills exempting premium cigars from the rules.

The lawmakers say cigar makers are often small, local businesses and their product is much different than cigarettes and vaporizers, which are worthy of government rules.

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Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.), http://www.tampabay.com.