The Premium Cigar Industry had a huge victory in the area of cigar regulation. In perhaps the biggest news since the deeming regulations were announced in 2016, those rules have now been completely vacated by the FDA. The ruling means that the deeming regulations introduced by the agency in 2016 do not apply to any cigar that meets the court’s definition of “premium cigar,” meaning that those cigars are unregulated in the U.S.
Some much needed relief has come to the cigar industry today. While this is not a permanent solution and does not fix everything in cigar regulation, it is a major step. U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Columbia Amit P. Mehta ruled that he would be placing substantial equivalence regulations on hold indefinitely.
Today, United States District Court Judge, Amit Mehta, deemed that the the warning label requirements for premium cigars imposed by the FDA are illegal. Mehta threw out the warning requirements for premium cigars with the reasoning because the FDA did not properly analyze the different usage patterns between premium cigars.
IPCPR has launched a new grassroots website, cigaraction.org. This site is a resource for retailers and consumers to get involved with public policy issues that affect premium cigars. This launch coincides with their first grassroots campaign urging Congress to support a premium cigar exemption provision in the annual spending bill. Over time, this site will serve as the center of IPCPR’s grassroots effort with the cigar community for multiple federal and state initiatives.
Earlier today, D.C. District Court Judge Amit Mehta issued an injunction prohibiting the U.S. Food & Drug Administration from enforcing its warning label requirements on cigars and pipe tobacco. The warning label requirements for packaging and advertising were slated to go into effect on August 10th. Judge Mehta’s order delays any enforcement of the requirement until at least 60 days after the conclusion of an appeal currently underway. No date has been set for a court to hear the appeal.
United States Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) reintroduced the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act today. This goal of this bill is to exempt premium cigars from excessive and overly burdensome U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations and fees. This bill was first introduced by Rubio in 2011 with help from former Senator Bill Nelson.
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has unanimously struck down warning labels on cigars. They noted flaws in the FDA’s Deeming Rule regulating cigars and said that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) did not do enough work to show an effect of large cigar warning labels on reducing smoking rates.
The FDA is taking another look at premium cigars in a move that anti-tobacco groups fear could weaken regulations. It's the latest push under Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to undertake a sweeping overall of tobacco and nicotine regulation. The FDA recently took the first step in lowering the amount of nicotine in cigarettes. It also said it's seeking information on the role flavors, including menthol, play in attracting people to tobacco products and alternatives like e-cigarettes.