On April 24, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released proposed regulations to extend the authority of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, to additional tobacco products. This can have a major impact on the cigar industry along with the other tobacco products that the FDA is targeting.
You can read the full proposed rule by the FDA here. Charlie Minato of Halfwheel also put together a very good summary of the FDA document here.
I recommend that you read the document to get a clear understanding of the proposed rule along with what options are being considered. The FDA’s commenting process mentions that you are to be very clear and precise on what you are commenting on and should reference specific items in your comments. They also mention that form letters are not recommended. In their commenting instructions, they note that “one well supported comment is often more influential than a thousand form letters.”
Public comments are open until the end of the day on July 9, 2014. Please do not wait to get your comments in. Also encourage others that you know to submit comment as well. This issue is specifically in regards to tobacco, but it also deals with regulation on a broader scale. Some may think that since they don’t use tobacco products that it doesn’t effect them. The truth is, allowing this regulation to pass only make it easier for the government to regulate other things in the future. By the time it effects something the person that didn’t care about the tobacco regulation does care about, then it may be too late.
How to submit your comments
- To submit your comments go here and click on the “Comment Now” button on the right.
- In the comments field, enter your comments on the topic. Please be clear and precise with your arguments and points.
- Enter your name and contact information if you choose to.
- Click on the Category drop down and choose the correct option. For most of us, this would be Individual Consumer.
- Click on the Continue button
- Review your submission on the “Your Preview” page
- At the bottom of the page, check the box stating that you read and understand the statement you are about to submit
- Click the “Submit Comment” button
- Record your tracking number on Receipt page or choose to email yourself a receipt
We recommend that you address these issues in particular as they are most likely to be damaging:
- Option 2 would be the least damaging to the cigar industry.
- A retail price (after any discounts or coupons) of no less than $10 per cigar would eliminate many smokers favorite cigars, if there has to be a dollar requirement, it needs to be much lower.
- The weight requirement of 6 pounds per 1000 units could eliminate smaller ring gauge cigars and should be considered to be removed.
Congratulations, you have now submitted a public comment on this matter.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article and fight for our rights. Encourage others to do so as well.
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