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Weekly Cigar News Sampler: Judge Delays FDA Warning Labels, Texas Challenge to FDA Transferred, New Joya Silver, and More

6 Jul 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 586th in the series.

1) Yesterday, D.C. District Court Judge Amit Mehta issued an injunction prohibiting the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) from enforcing its warning label requirements on cigars and pipe tobacco. The warning label requirements for packaging and advertising were slated to take effect on August 10, but Judge Mehta’s order delays any enforcement of the requirement until at least 60 days after the conclusion of the appeal currently underway. Currently, no date has been set for a court to hear the appeal. The decision comes as part of an ongoing lawsuit brought by the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR), the Cigar Association of America, and the Cigar Rights of America. Scott Pearce, IPCPR executive director, recognizes this is a positive, albeit potentially temporary, development for retailers and the broader industry. “This deadline has been bearing down on our members for some time now. And while this is a temporary reprieve, it is a welcome development and hopefully a sign that our message is resonating.”

2) In contrast to this positive legal development, a legal challenge to FDA regulation filed in Texas had a setback this week. Fifth Circuit District Court Judge Kimberly Priest Johnson reversed an earlier ruling and granted the FDA’s request that the legal challenge be merged with the ongoing lawsuit in the DC Circuit. The ruling denies the cigar industry a separate, potentially more favorable, venue in which to challenge FDA cigar rules.

3) You may have heard that 17 U.S. senators of both parties wrote a letter to the FDA to “respectfully request that the FDA exempt premium cigars from the FDA’s regulations” under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009. The letter cites research showing “no statistically significant use of traditional cigars amongst youth” and says further regulation could kill small businesses. While it’s good to see officials move in this direction, it’s also probably not something to get overly excited about. All 17 signers—spanning the ideological spectrum from Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono to Georgia’s David Perdue—already cosponsor a bill to do the same thing. Neither that bill nor similar legislation has gained much traction in the past.

4) We’re going to go ahead and make a prediction that the bourbon in this collapsed warehouse will someday end up in a limited edition bourbon, probably for a premium price. Don’t say we didn’t tell you so.

5) Random Read: Here are 15 films perfect for celebrating America.

6) Inside the Industry: This week, Joya de Nicaragua announced the national release of Joya Silver, an addition to its Modern Lineup. Joya Silver is a box-pressed cigar featuring an oscuro upper-priming Ecuador-grown wrapper around Nicaraguan fillers and a Mexican binder. The result is a medium- to full-bodied smoke that achieves an indulging matching of flavors.

7) From the Archives: An interview with the Indiana Jones of cigars, whose job it is to discover the next great cigar tobacco.

8) Deal of the Week: Here are over 80 deals, including cigars from Ashton, Oliva, Tatuaje, Rocky Patel, Padrón, Drew Estate, Davidoff, Cohiba, Crowned Heads, RoMa Craft, and more. Free shipping is included on any purchase. If you really want to stock up, add promo code “GBP20D” at checkout to knock $20 off an order of $150 or more.

–The Stogie Guys

photo credit: IPCPR

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