05 May FDA Extends Tobacco Regulations to Premium Cigars and Pipe Tobacco
This morning, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its final determination deeming additional tobacco products, including premium cigars, subject to its authority under the Tobacco Control Act. IPCPR’s policy team is reviewing this complex determination (499 pages) and will provide a further update concerning its impact on retail tobacconists. The FDA’s regulation of premium cigars if left unchecked, would have a devastating impact on retailers and manufacturers alike. Consumers will have less choice. Youth access is simply not an issue in the premium cigar space where 35,000 Americans earn their living along with over 300,000 employees in the Caribbean Basin. Fortunately, the industry’s legislative strategy continues to be implemented, including language recently adopted by the Appropriations Agricultural Subcommittee disallowing any funding of FDA regulation of premium cigars and negating the arbitrary predicate date of February 2007, after which any tobacco product would be considered new, and have to go through an expensive and time consuming compliance process. Bills H.R. 662 and S. 441, exempting premium cigars and pipe tobacco, continue to gain co-sponsors as we pursue a legislative solution to unneeded and harmful government intrusion.