Last December Rick Newcombe wrote an editorial for reason.com that summarizes the several threats to pipe smokers and the businesses that cater to them (including a legitimate "let them eat cake" moment).
The FDA wants for anyone hand-rolling cigars to register with the government; same with artisan pipe makers. Tobacconists would no longer be able to offer their store's unique blends without special permission, and no cigar or pipe tobacco introduced after 2007 would have much of a chance of being allowed into the marketplace.
When representatives of the cigar and pipe industries pointed out to the FDA that these regulations would effectively put hundreds of stores out of business, their reply was frightening. As quoted in the lawsuit filed against the government, the "FDA's response to these small businesses is that they 'would be able to shift shelf space and other activities to non-tobacco products.'"I've been hearing buzzings and rumblings about this for a while, but since I'm headed back, I thought it was high time I find out what's actually going on. I made a video asking the brothers of the briar what's happening on the ground.
So far the response from the brothers has been that not much has changed. Except for the tragic (and perhaps temporary) discontinuation of Dunhill pipe tobaccos. That one hurts.
The FDA does not appear to be enforcing the rules yet, and there's even hope that under the new administration these dictatorial policies will be thrown out. (Remember, if it happened under Obama it isn't fascism!) Here's hoping. Meanwhile, enjoy the video and its comments, and happy smokes to you.