Fellow cigar herfers–Our good fortune continues related to premium cigar regulation. On April 26, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations sent the Fiscal Year 2017 Agriculture Appropriations Bill to the full House of Representatives for consideration. As indicated in a prior Blog Post, the Committee included language that protects cigars from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation. Only 1 in 4 bills make it out of committee. Yes, we have a bill on the floor of the House of Representatives!
Since the proposed bill is heading to the full house, it finally gets a number to go with the name. The full name of the bill is H.R. 5054: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017. Here’s a refresher on the key text of the bill related to premium cigar regulation:
“SEC. 749. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the proposed rule with the regulation identifier number 0910–AG38 published by the Food and Drug Administration in the Federal Register on April 25, 2014 (79 Fed. Reg. 23142) if such rule would apply to traditional large and premium cigars. For the purposes of this section, the term traditional large and premium cigar means—
(1) any roll of tobacco that is wrapped in 100 percent leaf tobacco, bunched with 100 perfect tobacco filler, contains no filter, tip or non-tobacco mouthpiece, weighs at least 6 pounds per 1,000 count, and—
(A) has a 100 percent leaf tobacco binder and is hand rolled
(B) has a 100 percent leaf tobacco binder and is made using human hands to lay the leaf tobacco wrapper or binder onto only one machine that bunches, wraps, and caps each individual cigar; or
(C) has a homogenized tobacco leaf binder and is made in the United States using human hands to lay the 100 percent leaf tobacco wrapper onto only one machine that bunches, wraps, and caps each individual cigar; and
(2) is not a cigarette or a little cigar (as such terms are defined in paragraphs (3) and (11), respectively, of section 900 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act).”
In short, the bill tells the FDA that they cannot spend any money for premium cigar regulation. The end. Full stop.
On a side note, if you ever come across the sponsor of this bill, Representative Robert B. Aderholt from Alabama, shake his hand, give him a hug, kiss him on the cheek, or offer him a premium cigar. He is sticking up for our rights which is a rare thing in politics today.
Herf on. . .