Well folks, the American Lung Association decided to chime in about the recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations on cigars, e-cigarettes, etc. As you can guess, they are no fans of us cigar smokers. In fact, they are downright down on us cigar lovers. On May 5, 2016, the American Lung Association published a press release on the FDA regulation. Below is their press release with our typical snarky comments added. While we respect all views on cigar regulation and are thankful for the American Lung Association’s efforts to minimize cigarette smoking, we can’t resist adding a few comments to their press release. You can view the original press release HERE. Enjoy!
“FDA Asserts Oversight Authority over Cigars, E-Cigarettes, Other Tobacco Products
Lung Association welcomes release of long-overdue public health protections, calls on Congress to support FDA’s commonsense steps
(Commonsense is not a word I would use to describe the 499 pages of gobbledegook FDA regulation. Maybe it is commonsense to a bureaucrat with nothing else to do but write something that requires a team of lawyers to interpret.)
(May 5, 2016) – Chicago, IL
Today, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products issued its long-awaited final rule giving the agency regulatory authority over all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, hookah, pipe tobacco and other tobacco products. The regulation was released today by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and gives FDA authority over the sales, marketing and manufacturing of all tobacco products.
“Too many children and teens are using e-cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products,” said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association.
(Teens using cigars? I’ve never once seen a teenager under the age of 18 enter a cigar shop, let alone attempt to purchase a premium cigar. C’mon, teenagers don’t have $10 for premium cigar; they are saving their money to buy marijuana. I have seen young adults buying flavored mass market cigars at my local 7-11 but when carded, each was 18 or older. I could care less if I never see another pineapple grape toilet water flavored mass market cigar the youngsters 18 and over smoke or turn into a blunt, or whatever they do with the darn things. Hopefully, they will wake up someday and spend their money on something besides these crap cigars.)
“The American Lung Association welcomes this long-awaited step to protect public health. At last, the Food and Drug Administration will have basic authority to make science-based decisions that will protect our nation’s youth and the public health from all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars and hookah.”
(Science-based decision? Are you kidding me? If science-based means the FDA only pays attention to studies that support their desire to eliminate all tobacco products, then I guess that is science-based.)
The American Lung Association is pleased that the FDA followed our recommendation and is including all cigars in the rule. The proposed regulation sought public comment on two different options, one of which would have exempted certain cigars from the most basic of FDA oversight – including warning labels and federal prohibitions against selling tobacco products to minors.
FDA will now have authority over all e-cigarettes, the use of which is skyrocketing among children and teens. While FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research has always had the authority to review safety and efficacy of therapeutic claims, FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products can now halt e-cigarette manufacturers from making unproven health claims and marketing directed to kids. The rule sets the nationwide minimum age of sale 18 years of age and prohibits distribution of free samples of e-cigarettes and all other tobacco products.
(This is great news that the minimum age to buy a tobacco product is now 18. Wait, this is the law in every state already and a few are now 21 years of age. Good job, FDA making a rule that you didn’t need to make. I wonder how many hundreds of hours and millions of tax payer dollars went into this decision.)
“Youth use e-cigarettes more than any other tobacco product on the market today, serving as an entry point to more traditional tobacco products and placing kids at risk to the harms and addiction of nicotine and other tobacco products,” Wimmer said. “Ending the tobacco epidemic is more urgent than ever, and can only happen if the FDA acts aggressively and broadly to protect all Americans from all tobacco products.”
(Epidemic? Last I heard, smoking was at an all time low.)
In April, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations included two policy riders on the funding bill for the Food and Drug Administration. The first rider would prohibit FDA from implementing this final deeming regulation unless the deeming regulation exempted certain cigars from basic FDA oversight. The second rider would grandfather in thousands of unregulated tobacco products currently on the market, including e-cigarettes, little cigars and hookah. Neither rider has the weight of law unless included in the final appropriations bill that is signed into law by the President.
(Thank you for the civics lesson. I guess the author of this press release never watched the Schoolhouse Rock How a Bill Become a Law video that everyone over the age 0f 25 has memorized. Check it out HERE. It ROCKS!)
“The Lung Association urges Congress to support public health protections and reject attempts to block or weaken FDA’s commonsense steps to protect the public health,” Wimmer said.
Congress passed the Tobacco Control Act in 2009, granting the Center for Tobacco Products immediate authority over cigarettes, smokeless and roll-your-own tobacco products. Congress also gave authority to the agency to assert jurisdiction over other tobacco products, which FDA is finally doing today. FDA initially announced its intent to assert jurisdiction over other tobacco products in 2010, and in April of 2011 announced its plan to include e-cigarettes as well. The proposed rule was released in April of 2014.
For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health, tobacco use and tobacco policies, contact the American Lung Association at Media@Lung.org or 312-801-7628.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.”