The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) really hates tobacco.
Part of the sweeping regulation on tobacco products and paraphernalia that went into effect on August 08, 2016 bans charitable donations involving tobacco, which effectively outlaws the long-standing tradition of sending cigars overseas to servicemen and women based in Iraq and Afghanistan.
End of an Era
It means brave soldiers risking their lives in the War on Terror could become the latest victims in the War on Tobacco. Industry giant Rocky Patel expressed concern over the measure:
“The troops are out there putting their lives on the line to protect our freedoms, rights, and privileges, and the federal government is taking away those same freedoms and rights. This is how we can give back to our country, and it’s amazing the FDA unilaterally seeks to take that away. It just hurts me we’re not going to be able to do this anymore.”
Tough Luck, Soldier
For many U.S. troops, cigars included in care packages were seen as a reminder of home — a small slice of joy in an otherwise dreary existence.
“After a long mission, it’s nice to have a cigar and play cards with your buddies,” said retired Army Sergeant Charles Claybaker.
“For a few minutes, it just makes you feel like you’re back home, like you’re American again, especially in a place like Afghanistan that culturally is so extraordinarily different.”
Claybaker says the cigars really helped boost morale among the troops. Count one more small token of happiness that’s now been destroyed by the Feds.