[Wed, July 20, 2022 — Washington, DC] The Premium Cigar Association (PCA) and the Boutique Cigar Association of America (BCAA) announced today a new collaborative relationship to highlight the boutique cigar industry within the world of premium cigars, and to effect solidarity within the cigar industry.
Armen Caprielian, co-owner of DAV Cigars and President of the BCAA Board of Directors, stated that the coming together of these two organizations is a crucial step in unifying the cigar industry, bringing together companies large and small, new and established. “The vision of this partnership is to bring together the newness and enthusiasm of the BCAA’s young, small cigar companies and the breadth of wisdom and experience of the PCA’s well-established membership. Through sharing our knowledge, resources, and experiences, we all are poised to present a unified front in promoting our industry, advocating for sensible regulation that preserves our common tobacco heritage, and ensuring a vibrant future for manufacturers, retailers, and consumers.”
Dr. Gaby Kafie, founder, and current Treasurer of the BCAA notes that “too many small companies go unrecognized or fail to join the mission to fight federal regulations” which are causing challenges at all levels of the cigar industry. The vision of the BCAA is “to bring all the boutique cigar companies together as one unified voice—well-informed, educated, and ready to act,” says Kafie. “Now is the time to join forces with the PCA and focus all our energy on ensuring that our industry thrives and flourishes now and in the future. We are mindful of all who have come before us in the cigar industry; we are grateful to all those who stand shoulder to shoulder with us now; and we are excited to continue to make significant contributions toward achieving a brighter future.”
Greg Zimmerman, President of the PCA, is excited and encouraged by the BCAA coming together with the PCA as the industry embarks on a new era. “Being united in our pursuit to protect premium cigars and pipe tobacco is critical as we move forward through this changing regulatory environment,” said Zimmerman. “With our recent litigation successes, we now have a unique moment as an industry and having the BCAA alongside us will only enhance our voice and our efficacy.”
As part of this newly formed partnership, the BCAA announces that it will be a featured part of the 2023 PCA Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, bringing its membership together from across the country. Caprielian noted: “Following the BCAA’s second annual Boutique Cigar Festival which takes place this August 12-13 in Martinsville, Indiana, gathering as part of the PCA Tradeshow seems like a logical and necessary step toward bringing boutique cigars to the forefront of the cigar industry. We are grateful to the PCA for the opportunity to stand in solidarity with the common interests of education, promotion, and advocacy of our beloved cigar industry.”
PCA Executive Director Scott Pearce said that this is a great win-win as many boutique brands will get opportunities to shine while the PCA welcomes ever-growing support from boutique companies. “The PCA annual convention and trade show is the world’s largest gathering for the premium cigar and pipe industry. Adding a strong BCAA component to the trade show will absolutely enhance our offering to retailers to discover great new brands to offer their customers while providing our world-class stage for these brands to launch and grow,” said Pearce.
About the PCA
Founded in 1933, the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) is the largest, most active, and longest-running trade association representing and assisting retailers, manufacturers and suppliers of premium tobacco products. PCA is a not-for-profit trade association and is recognized as the “Voice of Authority and Reason” on premium tobacco-related issues.
About the BCAA
The BCAA was founded in 2016 as an association of small cigar companies across the United States, with the mission to promote and support small, family-owned cigar businesses who manufacture fewer than 1 million cigars per year, while educating the public on the preservation of the art of cigar making and the importance of the tobacco industry to the world economy. In 2022, a Board of Directors was elected to guide the BCAA into the future, solidifying its mission to promote and protect boutique cigar manufacturers, highlighting the uniqueness and artistry of small cigar companies around the globe.