From the IPCPR: Sixteen months after the Deeming Rule went into effect, the premium cigar industry finally had its day in court. Late last week, a federal judge heard oral arguments in the ongoing case brought by the premium cigar industry against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). IPCPR, along with the Cigar Rights of America and the Cigar Association of America, filed suit shortly after the FDA rolled out its finalized Deeming Rule in May of 2016.
The lawsuit, filed in DC District Court, was argued before Judge Amit Mehta, and challenges four separate elements of the FDA’s rule. They are:
- FDA’s warning label requirements,
- FDA’s regulation of pipes as tobacco components,
- FDA’s treatment of pipe tobacco blending as manufacturing, and
- FDA’s application of user fees.
Arguing on behalf of the premium cigar industry was Michael Edney, Partner at Norton Rose Fullbright LLP. He was assisted by co-counsel, Mark Raffman, a Partner at Goodwin Procter. IPCPR couldn’t be prouder of our representation before Judge Mehta and the efficacy of arguments made by our counsel. This was a major step in IPCPR’s ongoing efforts to combat the FDA’s shortsighted and overbearing regulations, and just one of several pathways our association has undertaken to find a remedy.
“From the very beginning we knew this was going to be a long and tough road, and last Thursday’s hearing shows just how far we’ve come as an industry” argued Ken P. Neumann, IPCPR President. “This isn’t the end by any means and now we need to wait on the judge to hopefully find in our favor, but nothing is guaranteed. However, with our litigation team and all the hard work undertaken by our association and industry, I think we at least finally have a fair fight.”A ruling from Judge Mehta is unlikely before the new year. IPCPR will continue to keep our members informed of any developments in the ongoing legal, legislative and regulatory campaigns and look forward to more positive developments in 2018.