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News: Cigar Groups Push Back Against Impending FDA Cigar Regulations

12 Dec 2013

IPCPR and CRA sent a letter to the Obama Administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to argue against impending regulation of cigars by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The OMB is currently evaluating rules proposed by the FDA.

In 2009, President Obama signed into law the so-called “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act,” which required the FDA to regulate cigarettes. The bill also authorized the FDA to regulate other types of tobacco, but doesn’t require such regulation.

The nine-page letter makes the case that there is “no public health basis to conclude that premium cigars should be regulated by FDA under the Tobacco Control Act.” It states there is no legal basis for such regulation because there is no evidence that premium cigars are addictive or used by young people.

The letter notes the Tobacco Control Act gives the Food & Drug Administration “the authority to address issues of particular concern to public health officials, especially the use of tobacco by young people and dependence on tobacco,” and also should “continue to permit the sale of tobacco products to adults in conjunction with measures to ensure they are not sold or accessible to underage purchasers.”

It then goes through the scientific research, especially the National Cancer Institute’s Monograph 9, which is the most comprehensive overview of the health effects of cigar smoking. As explained in the IPCPR and CRA letter, the 248-page monograph demonstrates that handmade cigars are not addictive when used properly.

The letter, which can be read below, makes the case that if the FDA and OMB apply the law in a scientific manner, the FDA should not create any new regulations for handmade cigars. Further, should the FDA attempt to regulate handmade cigars, the arguments in the letter are likely to be the same arguments in any legal challenges to FDA regulation.

Patrick S

photo credit: N/A

Drew Estate

4 Responses to “News: Cigar Groups Push Back Against Impending FDA Cigar Regulations”

  1. George E. Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    While legislation in both houses that would bar FDA regulation of premium cigars has broad bipartisan support, it is far from reaching the levels achieved in the previous Congress and appears unlikely to get enacted without a major push. If your representative or Senator hasn't signed on as a co-sponsor, you should contact them immediately.

  2. Andy Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    There's been a lot of back-and-forth between the administration, FDA, OMB, and cigar rights groups like IPCPR and CRA. When do you expect we'll finally hear what the FDA regulations will be for premium cigars?

    • George E. Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 11:10 am #

      Andy – At this point, it's not possible to say. FDA hasn't released any schedule for the process.

      • Andy Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

        Thanks. Typical.