The cigar industry trade associations (Cigar Association of America (CAA), Cigar Rights of America (CRA), and the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers (IPCPR) have officially filed an appeal in the lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Deeming Regulations. Most specifically, the crux of the lawsuit focuses around the implementation of warning labels on packaging. The appeal was filed to U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Last May the cigar industry took a crushing defeat when U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amit P. Mehta upheld FDA’s warning label and user fee plans. Basically, the judge ruled that the FDA Deeming Rule’s health warning requirements did not violate the TCA (Tobacco Control Act) the APA (Administrative Procedure Act) or the First Amendment. This meant plans were still in place to implement warning label requirement enforcement on August 10th, 2018.
The cigar industry asked for an injunction or delay against warning labels pending an appeal. In a surprise turn of events, on July 6th, 2019 the injunction against implementing warning labels was granted. The injunction was granted by Judge Mehta as the result of another precedent set in a case subsequently ruled in the California Supreme Court. Under the injunction, warning label requirements could not begin until 60 days after the conclusion of the appeal being filed by the cigar trade organizations.
Assuming no delays, summary judgment briefings are scheduled to conclude June 13, 2019, with oral arguments slated for July 11, 2019.