Proposed legislation would exempt certain cigars from the FDA’s jurisdiction.

Under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the FDA gained immediate authority to regulate cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco.  The Tobacco Control Act also gave the FDA authority to regulate other tobacco products, such as cigars, pipe tobacco and electronic cigarettes, but only after giving the public an opportunity to comment and issuing regulations.  The FDA has indicated that it intends to assert jurisdiction over cigars, but has not yet issued proposed regulations.

Under the “Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act of 2011” (H.R. 1639 – introduced April 15, 2011), “traditional large and premium cigars” — defined as cigars wrapped in leaf tobacco, containing no filter and weighing at least 6 pounds for 1,000 count — would be exempted from FDA’s authority, meaning that FDA could not regulate these tobacco products even by issuing regulations.  Under the proposed legislation, FDA would retain authority to regulate little cigars, and any other cigars that have filters or are wrapped in reconstituted tobacco.

The bill remains in committee and, as yet, has not been scheduled for a hearing.

For questions and/or comments, please contact Bryan Haynes, at 804.697.1420 or by email.