Cigar Rights of America issued the following press release regarding developments on the ongoing battle over the FDA's proposed regulation of premium cigars.
Cigar Rights of America Statement on FY 17 Agriculture Appropriations Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food & Drug Administration and Related Agencies released the fiscal year 2017 Agriculture Appropriations, which included language addressing the issue of premium cigars and proposed FDA regulation.
Cigar Rights of America applauds the language included by the committee that seeks to protect small businesses and the freedom of adult consumers throughout the nation.
The language contained within the bill, and supported by CRA would prohibit the use of funds for any effort "to finalize, implement, or enforce the proposed rule" [The April 25, 2014 proposed Deeming Rule, subjecting cigars and other products, to new regulations.] The language continues, "if such rule applies to traditional large and premium cigars."
J. Glynn Loope, Executive Director of Cigar Rights of America stated, "The premium cigar industry feels that enforcement of existing laws is far more important than new regulations."
Loope continued, "We commend the leadership of Chairman Robert Aderholt on this issue, as he is working to protect thousands of domestic and tens of thousands of international jobs associated with the premium cigar industry. He clearly worked for a balance with this language, that seeks to protect small businesses and traditional family owned manufacturers."
Rocky Patel, Vice Chairman of the CRA Board of Directors stated, "The inclusion of this language to protect premium cigars is a testament to the coalition the industry has built in Congress over the last several years, and to the educational process with our lawmakers on how premium cigars are a cottage industry and an art form enjoyed by adults, much like a fine wine. Premium cigars are uniquely different than other tobacco products, and hence should not be regulated as proposed by the FDA. As we may be on the eve of the issuance of regulations, this action by the subcommittee is wonderful news."
Cigar Rights of America has been working in partnership with the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association to advance legislation to protect premium cigars from burdensome, and in fact, decimating new regulations proposed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
The magnitude of the adverse economic impact was depicted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, when it estimated that at least 50% of the industry could not sustain the level of regulation outlined in the original April 2014 Deeming Rule issuance.