What is the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers (IPCPR)?
Founded in 1933, the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association is a not-for-profit trade association representing premium retail tobacconists and their suppliers. IPCPR represents over 2,000 retail stores across the United States that sell tobacco products and accessories, as well as more than 350 manufacturers, distributors, and service providers of high quality merchandise. All members are fully committed to preserving the rights of adults to enjoy legal tobacco products.
What is a premium cigar?
Premium cigars are a handcrafted artisanal product, made with 100% tobacco. These cigars continue to be made by hand as they have been for several hundred years. Much like wine, premium cigar profiles range from mild to robust with numerous varieties in between. From a seedling, each premium cigar typically takes 3 – 4 years to produce, allowing flavor profiles to develop and mature.
Who does IPCPR represent?
IPCPR member stores have a tremendous presence across the nation, with a presence in every state and Congressional district. Many of IPCPR members’ businesses are family-owned, spanning several generations. Each store, on average, employs 5.5 full- and part-time employees. Nearly two-thirds of these stores have a full-time manager with an average salary in excess of $36,000. The quintessential IPCPR member’s store is a small business focusing almost exclusively on cigars, humidors, cutters, lighters, pipes, and pipe tobaccos, and other related accessories. IPCPR members’ businesses are adult establishments.
What issues are facing the premium cigar industry?
In 2009, “The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act” was signed into law, with the intent of curbing youth access to tobacco products and preventing addiction to tobacco. Premium cigars fit neither area yet are facing undue regulation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Legislation in the House (H.R. 564) and Senate (S. 294) will define and exempt premium cigars, helping to preserve tens of thousands of domestic jobs and hundreds of thousands international jobs. Our members must have the freedom to sell a legal product without government interference. At the state and local levels, retailer tobacconists continue to face tax increases and smoking bans.