The Cigar Association of America, one of the leading trade groups in the U.S. cigar business, has named John J. Miller as its new chairman, replacing Javier Estades, who served in that position for five years.

Miller is the president of Swisher International Inc., the machine-made cigar giant known for the Swisher Sweet brand, and the parent company of Drew Estate, makers of Liga Privada, Undercrown and Acid cigars, among many others. 

Estades is the chief executive officer of Tabacalera USA, the maker of the non-Cuban versions of Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta and many other cigars. 

The change occurred on Friday, November 6.

“I believe I am passing a financially sound and strong association to my successor,” Estades said. “During my tenure, we faced a perfect storm of unprecedented regulatory intervention by the FDA, increases in taxes at state and federal level, a divided industry, the Covid-19 pandemic and more. Despite it all, here we are—alive and kicking and very proud of what we have accomplished.”

The CAA is based in Washington, D.C., and was founded in 1937, although it traces its roots back to the 1800s via predecessor organizations.

“Javier served as our chairman during a rough-and-tumble time for our industry, while simultaneously running one of the most successful premium cigar companies in the world. His affable demeanor and steady hand have been critical to our continued efforts. As his time as chairman comes to a close, we owe him a great deal of gratitude,” said CAA president Craig Williamson. “While his time as chairman may be ending, I know he will never stop fighting for our industry.”  

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