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.
This may sound like a waste of time, and it probably is, but it is the right way – exhaust all available administrative and other remedies before litigating. Make sure you have standing and have suffered an actual injury so you don’t get booted from court on those grounds. Resist the temptation to be reactionary and go off half-cocked. Preparation and careful groundwork is far more likely to win the day.
I’m happy to see some type of legal response to this. With Only one lawsuit filed a cigar producer that I know of, I wonder why the industry hasn’t done more! Cigars have been made the same for 200 years with little change. This is another law intended for the government to get more money and control over the industry. Let’s hope something comes along and saves it.
Just one thought… Do craft beer manufacturers have to go though tight regulations for making brew out of your garage in many types of flavors and brands? How does the FDA view and regulate alcohol related to “new brand” craft beers? Seems there is a larger question of alcohol related issues than cigars and pipes… Just another way the government can squeeze another dime out of an issue that has been here for the test of time. Maybe the government should be re-visited and remove some of fat and over spending going on now!!
Glenn. Great point, and unfortunately, the craft beer industry is facing a major fight on their hands with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Not sure its as crippling as what FDA has done to cigars and pipes, but it is something to be concerned about. Details here.
I guess making cigars the same for 200 years doesn’t count..but the question is why start from 2007 and not 2016?
It was somewhat arbitrary. We got some more background here.
They claim not to have discretion based on the dates contained in the original law passed by Congress back in 2009. One could certainly argue that all cigars made thereafter are the “substantial equivalent” of those made before though, and therefore not subject to the more rigorous process. I want to see how that argument plays out. No doubt it will be the subject of litigation as well.