Led by Congressman Bill Posey, 32 members of the House of Representatives have all signed a letter urging the government to delay several deadlines impacting the premium cigar industry.
Addressed the Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the letter seeks to extend the commenting period of the advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on premium cigar regulation, which is currently set to end on June 25, 2018. In the letter, the congressmen also are asking for a delay in the implementation of the new warning statement requirements which would call for FDA-selected and approved warning statements to run all packages and advertising relating to premium cigars. Set to go into effect on Aug. 10, 2018, the warning label requirement has been a highly contested point of friction between many manufacturers, retailers and the FDA since the announcement of the deeming rules back in 2016.
“As members of the U.S. Congress representing all sectors of the hand-rolled premium cigar industry, we remain concerned that the FDA’s regulatory overreach on this issue, which is contrary to Congress’ intent under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA), will continue to impose greater economic burdens on the manufacturers and retailers of premium cigars,” reads part of the letter to the OMB.
The letter questions the effectiveness of the 90-day commenting period in gathering data, analytics, research and information that will be reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and used to reevaluate its regulation of premium cigars. The FDA also released two other ANPRMs related to flavors in the tobacco products and its regulation of combustible tobacco products like cigarettes.
In response to the letter, Scott Pearce, the IPCPR’s executive director, commented: “It’s heartening to know that because our IPCPR members have been such a vocal constituency to representatives in Congress, those representatives truly understand our issues and are now a vocal constituency to the Administration. IPCPR is excited about once again proving our case against poorly designed and harmful regulations through the ANPRM process. Our association sincerely thanks the letter signatories for their support and effort to make sure we have the time necessary to respond.”
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