“This week there was another development in the Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) push to regulate cigars. The agency announced it was extending the public comment period on it’s proposed regulation of cigars.”
In the article, an FDA spokesperson said that under an FDA regulation regime cigars “would be subject to general controls, such as registration, product listing, ingredient listing, good manufacturing practice requirements, user fees for certain products, and the adulteration and misbranding provisions, as well as to the premarket review requirements for ‘new tobacco products’ and ‘modified risk tobacco products.’”
Such regulation would be devastating to the cigar industry, and in particular to boutique cigars and the creation of new blends. And “user fees” is just a bureaucratic term for more taxes on cigars, which are already at record high rates.
The FDA spokesman’s quote also shows a complete misunderstanding of the handmade artisanal nature of premium cigars.
“Ingredient listing” would be nearly impossible beyond “100% tobacco” since blends are regularly tweaked to provide consistent flavor from one year to the next. Further, even if blends aren’t changed, the chemical composition of tobacco leaves changes from harvest to harvest, meaning any disclosure of “ingredients” beyond tobacco would be either completely stifling or totally meaningless…