For more than 125 years the city of Tampa has been the home to cigar factories- by the 1920’s there were 150 factories- employing tens of thousands of people. Tampa was so famous for its cigars to this day it is called Cigar City.
Now the last operating cigar factory in Tampa is facing a possible shutdown because of new regulations proposed by the Food and Drug Administration. The JC Newman Cigar Company- located on the northside of Ybor City employs 130 people, mostly women making inexpensive cigars with machines that are more than 80 years old.
Today on Radioactivity, Rob Lorei speaks to Eric Newman president of the JC Newman company and grandson of the company’s founder.