House Committee Passes Language to Save Our Cigars

When the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, aka the Tobacco Control Act, was passed in 2009, the legislation required that any tobacco product that is commercially marketed after February 15, 2007, must be reviewed by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) prior to sale. Estimates of the cost for the review are upwards of $400,000. Many in the industry complained that the date was completely arbitrary. It seems members of the House Appropriations Committee have heard the industry and are trying to make a change.

Today, the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers (IPCPR), a not-for-profit trade association representing premium retail tobacconists and their suppliers, reported the following:

“Today, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee considered the FY 2016 Agriculture Appropriations Bill which passed 29-21. The legislation will now be schedule for consideration on the House Floor. Included in this bill was a provision to make a technical change to the Tobacco Control Act, affecting the regulation of premium cigars, pipe tobacco, and other tobacco products.

When the Tobacco Control Act was passed into law, an arbitrary date of February 15, 2007 was implemented to determine what is considered a new tobacco product. Anything introduced after that date would be subject to a costly pre-market review which could cost manufacturers over $400,000 per cigar blend, size, or shape. For an industry like ours, which heavily relies on seasonal releases and limited editions, the 2007 date would devastate our humidors, with an estimated 85% of products being affected and possibly removed from market.

Language has been included in the Appropriations bill to fix this problem. If signed into law, the “predicate date” would change to date of enactment for any new regulation on a tobacco product. As FDA continues to consider regulation of premium cigars and pipe tobacco, the date of implementation remains critically important. With the clarified language, any product released after this date is subject to pre-market review, but any product on the market prior, would be grandfathered in as a “substantially equivalent” product. Though a misguided amendment was offered to strip this language from the bill, it was defeated by a vote of 23-26.”

About the IPCPR

The IPCPR represents over 2,000 retail stores across the United States that sell tobacco products and accessories, as well as more than 350 manufacturers, distributors, and service providers of high quality merchandise.



c.gar loves all things cigar-related. He typically falls in love with cigars that are discontinued shortly thereafter. His first cigar was a Swisher Sweet with a wood tip. Sadly, these are still in production.

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