The petition to the Obama Administration to further review the final rule on premium cigars being subjected to federal regulatory oversight has failed. The petition closed with a total of 24,758 signatures.
The petition was launched on May 11, 2016. A total of 100,000 signatures in a the thirty day window was required in order to get a response from the White House. The petition fell way short of the threshold required by 75,242 signatures.
This is the second petition to the White House. Back in 2012, a petition was created to the White House asking for an exemption for premium cigars. At the time of the first petition, only 25,000 signatures were required, but since then the threshold has been raised to 100,000. The first petition garnered a total of 40,694 signatures and did receive a response by the Obama Administration. However, the Administration kicked that response back to the FDA who rejected the petition.
The second petition did not reach the old threshold value of 25,000.
A similar petition was launched by the e-cigarette industry. This petition also fell short garnering 74,323 signatures.
While many cigar industry people were wary of a second petition given the way the first petition was rejected, it was hoped this second petition would still garner a enough support to make a statement.
The legislative petition to Congress are still active.
On a comment to this author’s personal Facebook page, J. Glynn Loope, Executive Director of Cigar Rights of America commented, “Keep in mind, this was undertaken purely to give individuals a venue to lodge their protest to the regulatory actions of the Administration – not because anyone thought anything tangible would result. There will be other such opportunities created. The Congressional outreach petition is tangible, real, and meaningful, as each office keeps track of the ‘yeahs and nays’ on each issue or piece of legislation.” (*)
The FDA’s Regulations on premium cigars begin to go into effect on August 8, 2016.
Update: Added comments from Glynn Loope. (*)
Photo Credit: White House Facebook Page