H.R. 2339, a comprehensive anti-tobacco bill that includes the banning of internet sales and flavored, tobacco has passed a House Subcommittee. The bill was introduced by Rep. Frank Pallone [D-New Jersey], and while it is aimed at e-cigarettes and vapes, it does also include premium cigars.

The bill also calls for setting a minimum age of 21 nationwide to purchase tobacco products, an increase in user fees, and implementation of graphic warning labels on cigarettes.

Passing the subcommittee advances the bill to a full committee where it is expected there will be additional amendments. In order to become law, the bill would also be required to pass the U.S. Senate, and get the President’s signature. At press time there has been no companion bill introduced to the Senate.

According to CRA Executive Director Glynn Loope, Pallone has pledged to work with Rep. Kathy Castor [D-Florida] and Rep. Donna Shalala [D-Florida] on language that would protect the premium cigar industry. Castor has sponsored legislation calling for an exemption for premium cigars from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation. While Shahala’s name is on H.R. 2339, she recently has visited the El Titan de Bronze factory in Little Havana.

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