Cigar Association of America Chairman Javier Estades has stepped down after leading the group for five years. The announcement came last week during the CAA’s annual meeting.
In his final remarks as chairman, Estades noted the strides the CAA has made during his tenure.
“I believe I am passing a financially sound and strong association to my successor, John Miller,” Estades said, according to a CAA press release. he said the cigar industry has faced, among other things, “unprecedented regulatory intervention by the FDA” as well as local and federal tax increases on tobacco and, finally the pandemic.
“Despite it all, here we are – alive and kicking and very proud of what we have accomplished,” he said. “This is due to our focus on building outside relationships with organizations that value partnering with us to fight for you – our members – and the industry.”
Estades also pointed to several legal victories, and said they came thanks to some coalition building among like-minded trade associations as well as a strong state government relations program. Some of the cigar industry’s biggest wins have been at the federal level, he added.
“These include having health warnings thrown out, any product testing put off for the foreseeable future (or longer) and eliminating the recent SE deadline for premium cigars. We still have challenges ahead, and CAA stands ready to continue fighting against improper, overreaching efforts by FDA,” Estades said.