The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday decided to choose Option 1 of the two proposed regulations on tobacco products, option 2 would have granted an exemption for premium cigars. Today, the FDA banned sales of e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah tobacco to people under age 18, in line with cigarette rules, a move aimed at preventing a new generation from becoming addicted to nicotine. The agency said it also will require companies to submit these products to it for regulatory review, provide it with a list of product ingredients and place health warnings on their product packages and in advertisements.
The FDA’s regulation had been expected after the agency issued a proposed rule two years ago on how to oversee the $3 billion e-cigarette industry and these other products. Cigars had previously not been regulated by the FDA. Their makers had lobbied for their more expensive, typically hand-rolled products to be excluded from such oversight.
The FDA said in a statement that the regulations will bring all these products in line with how it oversees other tobacco products such as cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco.
In 2009, the FDA began focusing on e-cigarettes as the product began appearing in the U.S. market. That year, President Barack Obama signed the Family Control Act, a law that gave the agency authority over cigarettes, smokeless and roll-your-own tobacco products. Congress also gave authority to the agency to assert jurisdiction over other tobacco products.
(Reporting by Caroline Humer and Jilian Mincer in New York and Toni Clarke in Washington; Editing by Will Dunham)
“This morning, the Food and Drug Administration released its final determination deeming additional tobacco products, including premium cigars, subject to its authority under the Tobacco Control Act. IPCPR’s policy team is reviewing this complex determination (499 pages) and will provide a further update concerning its impact on retail tobacconists. The FDA’s regulation of premium cigars if left unchecked, would have a devastating impact on retailers and manufacturers alike. Consumers will have less choice. Youth access is simply not an issue in the premium cigar space where 35,000 Americans earn their living along with over 300,000 employees in the Caribbean Basin. Fortunately, the industry’s legislative strategy continues to be implemented, including language recently adopted by the Appropriations Agricultural Subcommittee disallowing any funding of FDA regulation of premium cigars. Bills HR662 and S441, exempting premium cigars and pipe tobacco, continue to gain co-sponsors as we pursue a legislative solution to unneeded and harmful government intrusion.”