Tobacco Asia

Volume 20, Number 5

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18 tobaccoasia / Issue 5, 2016 November / December By Eric Piras Nahuan Photo FDA's Regulation Shaker Free cigar sampling could be banned under FDA's proposal The history So far cigars in the US have been somewhat free of the intense regulations they might encounter in some other countries. Well, this is about to change, and the powers in charge are going from one extreme to the other. In May, when the US Food & Drug Adminis- tration (FDA) announced its willingness to regu- late tobacco products, including cigars, it issued a 499-page document detailing the new rules and its intentions. The agency had the option of exempt- ing premium cigars from this new regulation, but instead chose to treat premium cigars like other tobacco products. Craig Williamson, president of the Cigar Asso- ciation of America, stated, "We all worked in good faith to inform and educate FDA on the unique nature of our industry, its members, and our con- sumers. We hoped FDA would craft a flexible regulatory structure that accounted for the unique- ness of our industry. Instead, we got a broad, one- size-fits-all rule that fails to account for how cigars and premium cigars are manufactured, distributed, sold, and consumed in the United States." The main concept From August 8, FDA requires cigar manufacturers to submit pre-authorization applications before they are allowed to sell their products. This is the general guideline: - products that were marketed prior to Febru- ary 15, 2007 are considered grandfathered and as such are exempt from FDA regulation. However, cigar makers will be required to put large health warning labels on the box and submit a list of the cigar's ingredients. No free sampling allowed. - products that were marketed between Febru- ary 16, 2007 and August 8, 2016 will also be able to remain on the market, but manufacturers will have to submit these products for approval by FDA be- Whether in Europe with the TPD2 (EU's revised Tobacco Products Directive) or in the US with the new US Food & Drug Administration regulation, the cigar world feels that it is in the shaker for a new cocktail recipe, and it's one that tastes slightly sour.

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