The FDA is re-evaluating its stance on premium cigars. This is the latest shift under Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to take another look attobacco and nicotine regulation. The FDA recently took the first step in lowering the amount of nicotine in cigarettes. It also said it’s looking at information on the role flavors, including menthol, play in attracting younger people to tobacco products and alternatives like e-cigarettes.
The agency is again looking for public guidance on how it should regulate premium cigars. It expanded the definition of tobacco products in 2016 and in doing so, brought premium cigars within its oversight. With Friday’s request, the FDA is asking for more information.
On friday it gave advance notice proposed rulemaking and says it’s seeking feedback on how to define premium cigars, how these products are used and any public health considerations. It it seeking data and research that weren’t previously submitted.
The FDA also wants to understand whether premium cigars pose different risks or are used in different patterns compared with other combustible tobacco products, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.
“As we continue to move forward with this multi-year roadmap aimed at significantly reducing tobacco-related disease and death, we’re aware of the ongoing interest into how ‘premium’ cigars fit into our policy framework,” he said.
The FDA announced its comprehensive plan last summer. The agency has adopted the idea that nicotine products live on a continuum of risk, with conventional cigarettes being the most harmful and alternatives like e-cigarettes possibly being less risky.
Last week, the FDA took the first step in lowering the amount of nicotine in cigarettes. Earlier this week, the agency said it would examine the role flavors, including menthol, play in attracting young people to tobacco products and adult smokers in switching to products that are potentially less harmful than cigarettes.