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.
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