Cigar News

Save Premium Cigars Industry

The FDA is trying to smother the handmade cigar industry. We need your help.

We, SOUTHPOINTECIGARS, supports the call to write the FDA and help save premium cigars industry. The Food and Drug Administration is making it harder and harder for family-owned, handmade cigar companies to produce and sell their products. The new rules are unnecessary and political. They will drive these companies out of the business, leaving all of us, Cigar Lovers, with fewer choices for premium cigars.

We have to help in stopping that. We encourage everyone to write to FDA and below is the sample message provided by CigarAficionados. Feel free to use the letter below, though you can also craft your own message.

Send your letter/comments to this FDA link : https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=FDA-2017-N-6107-0001

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Sir or Madam:

As an adult who chooses to enjoy premium cigars, I am writing to share my thoughts on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that was published on March 26 of this year pertaining to premium cigars.<

It is my understanding that in order to assist in its evaluation of the regulation of premium cigars, FDA is seeking comments and other information that may have developed since the final rule was issued.

As a premium cigar consumer, I have closely followed what FDA has done since it announced its Final Rule regarding premium cigars in 2016. I continue to believe that premium cigars are a unique product, very different from the cigarettes and smokeless tobacco that Congress actually instructed FDA to regulate.  FDA’s actions in regulating premium cigars demonstrate that the agency has attempted a “one size fits all” approach to regulation. But premium cigars do not present the health, addiction and youth access issues associated with other tobacco products. FDA should respect those differences, rather than lumping premium cigars into the same group as cigarettes and cheap, candy-flavored cigarette substitutes.

A premium cigar is made by skilled artisans, using all-natural tobacco. It has no additives, using only aged tobacco, water and some vegetable gum. It doesn’t have filters or tips, and comes in artistic and ornate packaging that shouldn’t be marred by glaring warning labels.I agree that recent studies should lead FDA to reconsider its overreaching rules on premium cigars. Data from the 2013 National Adult Tobacco Survey, the 2013-2014 Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study, and the National Longitudinal Mortality Study from 1973-2011, show that very few youths use premium cigars and that the typical premium cigar consumer faces no statistically significant elevated health risks. The findings have been confirmed in peer reviewed articles in the New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of the American Medical Association. This new and rigorous research alone should cause the agency to reevaluate the harshness of the final rule.

No one said it better than the head of the FDA himself, Dr. Scott Gottlieb. In an April 2012 op-ed published before he became Commissioner, Dr. Gottlieb wrote, “Whatever the FDA does, the fight [to regulate cigars] reveals a broader trend of expanding the scope of regulation to cover areas never envisioned by Congress.” Dr. Gottlieb noted the agency does not have to regulate premium cigars simply because they contain tobacco: “The agency could argue that the premium cigars fall within its jurisdiction as a “tobacco product” but that, for now, it will exercise discretion and not regulate the high end smokes.”

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