FDA Regulation of Premium Cigars: Aging Room’s Rafael Nodal Speaks Out

Rafael Nodal of Boutique Blends/Aging Room cigars joins us as a Guest Blogger this week to address concerns over his recent response to the recent announcement of the FDA’s regulation of premium cigars:

Dear Friends and Fellow Cigar-lovers,

A few days ago the FDA announced regulations that will forever change the premium cigar industry as we know it today.

Since then, I have posted a video on my Facebook account that has been shared by many of my friends in the industry in which I voice my optimism in the future. Some have commented that this is not the time to be optimistic with all the unfair regulations by the Federal Government.

I would like this opportunity to explain why I am optimistic.

America is the best country in the world, not because of our government, but in spite of it. Not because of the politicians, but in spite of them.

I came to this country 35 years ago in a little boat with 300 people escaping a communist regime. Four days into our journey, we had no water, no food, a broken engine and we were lost in the Florida Straights in the middle of a bad storm. The sky was black and the waves covered the boat. Of course in this situation, you can start preparing to die, or you can be optimistic and pray to God for a miracle. I decided to pray. I had no doubt that I was going to make it to the land of freedom and opportunity. I refused to think that we had come so far to die in the middle of the sea. I must admit that it did not look good. The more my mother pressed me against her body the more we prayed.

From the middle of the darkness we could see a little light. The light became brighter and brighter. It was a US Coast Guard ship that was rescuing us. Yes, God had sent us a miracle. A group of angels dressed in coast guard uniforms.

After the critically ill people were lifted in helicopters and taken to land, the Coast Guard towed us to Key West. It turns out we had only been a few miles from land. So close and yet so far.

I will never forget the moment I got out of the boat and was offered an apple and a Coca-Cola. I had never seen either.

In this country I have had an incredible opportunity to raise my family and create my own cigar company with my partner Hank Bischoff and my wife Dr. Alina Nodal.

Our journey in this industry has been long and at times very difficult, but also very rewarding as we have had the opportunity to meet incredible people throughout this country. People that work hard, follow the law and enjoy cigars, which is an adult product.

It seems that today we are losing our freedoms one by one. America is an exceptional country. Not perfect of course, but we must fight every day to defend our freedoms and make America better.

I am optimistic about the future of America, because I am optimistic about the American people. People like you and me that work hard and would like to enjoy a cigar if we want to. It is our right.


Rafael Nodal
Boutique Blends Cigars
Aging Room – Swag – Oliveros – La Bohème Cigars


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