IPCPR Legislative | Submit Your Comment to the FDA Today!

Submit Your Comment to the FDA Today!

06 Jul Submit Your Comment to the FDA Today!

Have you made your comment yet? The FDA is currently re-considering how it defines and regulates premium cigars and wants to hear from you! Now more than ever, it’s important for IPCPR’s retailers to make their voice heard. Tell the FDA what you think a premium cigar is and why it should be exempt from current regulations!

The process is simple – Just click here and tell the FDA what you think! IPCPR has provided draft text for our retailers. Simply just copy and paste the comments into their online form or submit your own!

For any additional questions on FDA Regulations or the comment process, please contact Daniel Trope, IPCPR Senior Director of Federal Government Affairs at daniel@ipcpr.org.

IPCPR Recommended Text:

As an American tobacconist and premium cigar retailer, I am submitting comments urging FDA to adopt a definition for “Premium Cigars” and ultimately exempt them from FDA regulation.  I am also a member of the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailer Association (IPCPR).  IPCPR members employ tens of thousands of Americans across the country in brick and mortar stores, and sell premium tobacco products including cigars and pipe tobacco.  As a retail tobacconist, I am proud to work with an industry that champions the responsibility of selling Premium Cigars only to adult consumers of legal age.

The Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Center for Tobacco Products should take the opportunity to create a federal definition for “Premium Cigars.”  Premium Cigars differ significantly from other machine made cigars and tobacco products.  Produced by a unique artisanal industry with a niche adult consumer base, Premium Cigars differ from other mass-produced cigars and tobacco products in that :

  • Premium Cigars are smoked infrequently but almost exclusively by adults, usually to celebrate social occasions and not as a nicotine delivery vehicle;
  • While very important to my business, Premium Cigar sales represent 1/10th of 1 percent of all U.S. sales of tobacco products;
  • In general, adults with higher levels of education and incomes use Premium Cigars; and
  • Premium Cigar manufacturers, distributors, and retailers market them in adult-oriented publications and settings.

 

Several studies and peer-reviewed articles published since August 2014 have only reinforced what retailers, consumers, and others in industry have previously concluded about Premium Cigar patterns of use and their resulting potential public health impacts.  Based on this new data, the public health impacts of Premium Cigars do not justify continued FDA regulation under the requirements in place for other tobacco products like cigarettes.

Premium Cigars are handcrafted artisanal products, made only with 100% leaf tobacco, water, and a small amount of adhesive.  These cigars continue to be made by hand as they have been for several hundred years.  From the seedlings that provide the leaves used in these products until their final packaging, each Premium Cigar typically takes 3 to 4 years to produce.

As a retail tobacconist, I urge FDA to appropriately define “Premium Cigars” and treat them in a manner that reflects how and which consumers actually use these unique, artisanal products.  As IPCPR’s comments will explain in detail, the data speaks for itself.  The status quo of regulating Premium Cigars like cigarettes is not only economically unfeasible for small businesses like mine, it does not improve or impact the public health in any meaningful way.  Thank you for your consideration, and I hope that FDA remedies this unfortunate issue as soon as possible.



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