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Weekly Cigar News Sampler: Health Groups Sue FDA, Historic Cigar Apartments, Scott Gottlieb Profiled, and More

30 Mar 2018

As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post our sampling of cigar news and other items of interest from the week. Below is our latest, which is the 572nd in the series.

1) On the heels of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announcing its intent to seek comments about reconsidering existing regulations of premium cigars, several health groups on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the agency for delaying certain rules for cigars and electronic cigarettes. “The lawsuit is challenging an agency decision last summer to grant lengthy deadline extensions to manufacturers seeking FDA approval for their products,” reports the Washington Post. “Originally, the companies were required to submit such product-review applications by this August for any item that went on the market after February 2007. The revised timeline changed that to August 2021 for cigars and August 2022 for e-cigarettes.” The organizations suing the FDA include the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “The lawsuit contends that the FDA, in delaying product reviews of e-cigarettes and cigars, is exceeding its authority under the [Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009] and violating the Administrative Procedures Act because it did not give the public an opportunity to comment.”

2) Libertarian magazine Reason has a profile (subscription required) of FDA chief Scott Gottlieb entitled “Scott Gottlieb is Not a Free Market Firebrand.” The piece, which was written prior to the agency’s recent tobacco actions and focuses more on his work related to the drug approval process, concludes that Gottlieb has a “mixed, moderate record [that] has surprised both his champions and his critics.”

3) Tampa’s Ybor City is still impacted by its cigar heritage, even as its days as a center of cigar production have waned. Case in point is the soon-to-open, 38-unit Angel Oliva Sr. Apartments, being renovated from a historic wooden cigar factory. The structure, originally built in the late 1800s, was used more or less continuously for cigar production until 1999, including most recently by leading cigar tobacco supplier Oliva Tobacco Company.

4) Inside the Industry: Cigar retailer Famous Smoke Shop has unveiled a ring gauge and wrapper color guide to help consumers understand cigar length, smoking duration, girth, and wrapper color. The free tool is available here. Last year, the Pennsylvania-based retailer released a flavor wheel. Both resources are a product of Famous-owned Cigar Advisor.

5) From the Archives: Want to learn more about Ybor City? Read a book. For example: The Immigrant World of Ybor City, which was reviewed here.

6) Deal of the Week: recommends Bespoke Post, a monthly collection of awesome items (think fine bar accessories, shaving kits, workout gear, and more) delivered for just $45. Of note is the Churchill box, which features four cigars, an ashtray made of reclaimed wood, an odor-eating candle, cedar spills, and a cutter. Once you are signed up, there is no obligation; you can skip or purchase each month. Sign up now to be eligible for the April box.

–The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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