Late in March HR 1854, the bill to exempt premium cigars from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation was introduced to the House of Representatives for the 116th Congress. While in previous years it has been consistent, this time around there is one notable change of the bill’s text – flavored cigars are not covered by the proposed exemption.
The difference comes in the definition of a premium cigar. The bill says a premium cigar, “means any roll of tobacco that is wrapped in 100 percent leaf tobacco bunched with 100 percent tobacco filler, contains no filter, tip, flavor additive, or non-tobacco mouthpiece.” Earlier this year, Senate Bill S.9 was introduced and the language on flavor additive was not included in the language of that bill.
The move is not a surprise as flavored tobacco has been in the cross-hairs of the FDA in 2019.
Previous years have seen identical language in both the House and Senate bills. If the scenario emerges where both bills are passed by the House and Senate, they would have to have a reconciliation process before it is sent to the President.
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