Members of Congress Send Letter Urging Comment Period & Labeling Extension

Congressman Bill Posey along with 32 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter urging the federal government to extend the premium cigar ANPRM comment period. The comment period is currently slated to close on June 25th, and is the third of three tobacco and nicotine focused ANPRM’s released by the FDA. The letter also asks for a simultaneous delay to the looming August 10th, 2018 labeling deadline for packages and advertising. IPCPR, along with other associations representing the premium cigar industry have previously filed comments directly with the FDA requesting an extension of the ANPRM comment period. The association applauds the 33 Members of Congress for their continued support on behalf of the industry.

Addressed to Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the letter once again highlights the deep-seeded concern within Congress over FDA regulations of premium cigar products.

As members of the U.S. Congress representing all sectors of the hand-rolled premium cigar industry, we remain concerned that the FDA’s regulatory overreach on this issue, which is contrary to Congress’ intent under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA), will continue to impose greater economic burdens on the manufacturers and retailers of premium cigars.

The letter rightly points out that the time and resources needed to respond to the breadth and technical detail of data requested by the FDA exceeds the allotted.

Specifically, it states the FDA “seeks an all-encompassing, comprehensive response that seeks data, research results, and other information relating to premium cigars, in three separate categories. The current 90-day public comment period is insufficient to garner the kind of “all-encompassing, comprehensive response[s].

According to Scott Pearce, IPCPR Executive Director, Congressman Posey’s letter is indicative of the value retailers around the country hold on Capitol Hill. “It’s heartening to know that because our IPCPR members have been such a vocal constituency to representatives in Congress, those representatives truly understand our issues and are now a vocal constituency to the Administration,” said Pearce. “IPCPR is excited about once again proving our case against poorly designed and harmful regulations through the ANPRM process. Our association sincerely thanks the letter signatories for their support and effort to make sure we have the time necessary to respond.

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