What are we up against?

Bloomberg Philanthropies recently donated another $420 Million “to reduce” tobacco use globally. Since 2005 the organization has been a key financier of front groups, associations, and coalitions to go after all things smoking and tobacco related. Bloomberg Philanthropies proudly acknowledges that global smoking continues to decline and yet the organizations receiving their money run around Washington and in the media shouting on high of an ongoing health crisis. On one hand they claim to be effective against combating all things tobacco and yet the statistics that they utilize about actual usage are manipulated year after year to keep up fear mongering and their own relevancy. It looks like Bloomberg Philanthropies has renewed their efforts to combat adult consumer choice and small business enterprise to the tune of another $420 million over 4 years. This is what we are up against. 

Couldn’t this incredible amount of money be better spent on initiatives that address actual issues facing this nation and the world, rather than attempting to demonize and punish premium cigar consumers?  It is after all a legal product that is enjoyed by adults worldwide. Yet, these groups make no distinction between premium cigars and other tobacco products despite the available evidence on the patterns of use, age of usage, and public health outcomes. It is more convenient to lump premium cigars in with other categories, which is a policy objective these organizations have pursued by leveraging the regulatory might of the Food & Drug Administration. Fortunately, the federal courts have disagreed with this conflation of facts. 

Make no mistake Bloomberg Philanthropies and the organizations receiving this funding want full stop prohibition of all tobacco products. California legislator introduced a bill this week that would result in full prohibition of all tobacco products. The taxes, regulations, and prohibitions implemented, in part by Bloomberg’s funding, will have a negative impact on small businesses, the economies of cigar producing nations, and restrict adult consumers around the world from enjoying premium cigars. They brazenly ignore the rich cultural and historic significance of tobacco in native, Latin, Arab and other ethnic communities. They proudly disrupt major agricultural and manufacturing sectors of developing countries – allies of the United States. These organizations were the first to shower praise on the shoddy poll released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on how the “majority” of adults favor a full tobacco ban They’re no longer hiding the real end game – a global tobacco free society now! 

On the other end of the spectrum, Big Tobacco is no friend of the premium cigar industry either. Companies like Philip Morris International are pedaling a “smoke-free future” through slick marketing campaigns, advertisements, and a website promoting their aim of being “a majority smoke free business by 2025.” They’re allocating millions of dollars on marketing campaigns to alienate sectors of the tobacco market and augment anti-tobacco messaging, all to promote their vapor and smokeless products. This doesn’t help the legislative or regulatory environment for people who want to enjoy a premium cigar in a lounge or bar nor the small business owners and their employees. Do these companies really think they can escape the tobacco free agenda by cozying up to the likes of Bloomberg?

PCA’s Mission and the Value of Membership 

Despite the massive financial disadvantage, PCA is punching back and winning bouts well above our weight class.  PCA believes that adults have the right to make informed decisions about how they spend their free time and hard-earned money, and that the one-size-fits-all approach to ‘reducing’ tobacco use is erroneous and will not lead to meaningful policy change. The PCA is unwavering in its defense of consumers, retailers, manufacturers, and industry partners facing near budget less efforts to extinguish their premium cigar. 

We will continue to advocate for the rights of adult premium cigar consumers, retailers, manufacturers, and distributors and will fight against all attempts to restrict their access to this historic and culturally significant product. If you are eligible for PCA membership, we strongly encourage you to join the resistance against these goliaths or contribute to our advocacy fund. Your $40 with the PCA might not be $420 million, but we will put it to good use. 

What have we been working on? 

We have launched campaign after campaign at the local, state, federal and international level to address the prohibitionist and draconian rules and regulations being pursued by Bloomberg and its cronies. In just the first 45 days of this year, we have launched or extended, 24 campaigns, all the way from Maine to New Mexico, Canada to Virginia we have the industry covered. We are also tracking hundreds of bills in every locality, state, in Congress, and worldwide. When a bill comes up and poses a threat, we mobilize our supporters to ensure our collective voices are heard.

Surprisingly enough, even facing a prohibitionist behemoth, much of the legislation we are engaging on, is positive! When faced with the facts, legislators intuitively know our position has integrity and is in tune with the democratic values of our country. Tax caps left and right, cigar bar bills from Connecticut to North Dakota. But, as it happens, with the good news comes some bad, we have some big fights ahead. In a few states, indoor smoking bans, flavor bans, and insurance discrimination are up for consideration. ALL these measures are part of the long cold march to prohibition, which is ultimately the oppositions’ goal. We cannot give up any ground against these anti-smoking measures, there is no room for negotiating or letting a single bill slip by unopposed. It is impossible to find meaningful middle ground when dealing with a group of absolutists who demonize our side. They despise that you enjoy cigars, they loathe that your business is doing well, and they hate our unwavering opposition. We stand guard against all legislation that will harm the future of premium cigar smokers’ enjoyment, and working with our allies, are promoting cigar enthusiasts’ right to freely choose the products they enjoy and to smoke them across the country and around the globe. 

We wanted to round this off with a rundown of what we have done in just the first 45 days of 2023. Below is a list of the positive and the negative legislation we are engaging on.

Rundown of PCA Activities to Date in 2023


  • Met 20 freshman Members of the House and Senate 
  • Reestablishment of the Congressional Cigar Caucus
  • Hosted the Ambassador for the Dominican Republic and a dozen Members of Congress at PCA
  • Met with Speaker of House, Kevin McCarthy


Flavor Bans
  • New York Flavor Ban, S2441, A3907
  • Oregon Flavor Ban, HB 3090
  • Washington Flavor Ban, SB 5239
  • New Mexico Flavor Ban, HB 94
  • Indiana Flavor Ban, HB 1133
Cigar Bar Bills 
  • Cigar Bars In North Dakota, HB 1229
  • Cigar Bars in Connecticut, Raised Bill No. 905
Tax Caps 
  • Premium Cigar Tax Cap in Nebraska, ($0.50) LB 24 
  • Cigar Tax Cap in Montana, ($0.10) SB 122
  • Premium Cigar Tax Cap in Indiana, ($0.72) SB 86
  • Cigar Tax Cap in Virginia, ($0.30) SB 992
  • Cigar Tax Cap in Wyoming, ($0.30) SF 42
  • Cigar Tax Cap in New York, A 8156
  • Cigar Tax Cap in New York, S.B. 6741
  • Potential Tax cap legislation in Idaho
  • Potential Tax cap legislation in Nevada
Tax Increase 
  • Tax Increase In West Virginia (from 12% to 51% of wholesale) SB 84
  • New Hampshire cigar tax exemption removal, HB 510
Anti-Local Authority 
  • Keeping Tobacco Regulations at the State Level, HB 3483
Insurance and Employment Discrimination 
  • A bill allowing Insurance Discrimination In West Virginia, HB 2399
Smoking Ban 
  • Mississippi Indoor Smoking Ban, HB 107
  • Pennsylvania Indoor Smoking Ban 
Health Warning Labels 
  • Health Canada proposing new HWL requirements 

Our Petition to You

As we continue to fight all the above issues and more to come, we petition you to unite with us to strengthen our industry, our voice, and our ability to overcome. 

We only ask you to do 1 thing: Visit cigaraction.org and sign up to receive alerts on specific legislation that impacts your business. 

We will only alert you when significant action occurs that impacts you or when we need your voice in a grassroots effort in your region. This is a free service for you and is our first line of defense against the prohibitionist movement. 

Join us in the fight for your freedom—and your cigars, and sign up for cigaraction.org NOW!