The news today is that the FDA is finally going to rule on the long awaited cigar regulation this month. Well maybe not this month but according to news sources FDA spokesman Michael Felberbaum stated he did not have a timeline for the rule’s release. Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, stated he believes a final rule is imminent.
But…with regards to cigars, Alabama Congressman Aderholt, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies released the draft legislation for FY2017 which included a provision to protect premium cigars from undue FDA regulation. The draft legislation is good news for the premium cigar industry in at least that premium cigars would be exempt from the regulation so long as they adhere to following section 749 in the draft legislation:
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—
It further details that premium cigars shall be defined as:
(1) any roll of tobacco that is wrapped in 100 20 percent leaf tobacco, bunched with 100 perfect tobacco filler, contains no filter, tip or non-tobacco 22 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, 14 and Cosmetic Act).
You can read the full text of the draft legislation here.
This is truly a great start.