This past week, the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers (IPCPR), National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO), and the Pipe Tobacco Council submitted a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Tobacco Products requesting a delay of the effective date for the deeming regulations on pipe tobacco to retailers.

The regulations are slated to begin taking effect on August 8th, 2016.

The rationale for the delay is a request to conduct a regulatory impact analysis as required by the Federal Regulatory Flexibility Act.

The text of the letter appears below:

Please find accompanying this message correspondence from the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO), the Pipe Tobacco Council, and the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR), formally requesting that the FDA Center for Tobacco Products delay the effective dates and compliance dates within the deeming regulations that apply to retailers which sell and/or blend pipe tobacco in order to allow the agency to conduct the regulatory impact analysis required by the Federal Regulatory Flexibility Act. Also attached are the comments submitted by NATO, the Pipe Tobacco Council and the IPCPR regarding the deeming regulations and, in particular, the regulation of retailers which sell pipe tobacco as manufacturers. Copies of these previously submitted comments are being provided because the comments are referenced in the accompanying formal letter request.

With the deeming regulations scheduled to go into effect on August 8, 2016, we would appreciate a reply from the Center for Tobacco Products as soon as possible regarding this request. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

In particular the retail pipe tobacco segment has concerns around free sampling and the ability to mix blends at a retail pipe tobacco shop.

While this is a step specific for pipe tobacco, given the FDA is regulating tobacco as a whole, it could have an impact on what goes on with premium cigars.

Update: Added some clarification to understand this is being driven by pipe tobacco.