Fixed in Stone?

December 9, 2014

When the FDA tobacco control act was written for cigarettes, products under its jurisdiction were supposed to have been on the market by February 15, 2007.  Any product after that date had to go through mounds of paperwork to be justified.  When the FDA started deeming cigars and e-cigs to come under its purview this year, the agency was keeping to the Feb 2007 date.  Trouble is there were virtually no e-cigs on the market and think about all the new cigars that have come out since then. (Last year alone we had Nica Rustica, Kentucky Fire Cured, San Cristobal Revelation, Star Crossed by Romeo, CAO Flathead,  and El Centurian just to name but a very few.)  To this end, House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Commerce Chair Fred Upton have written to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell  requesting a change in the date for the newly deemed products.

[M]ost e-vapor products did not exist at that time,” the House Republicans wrote to Burwell. “FDA did not even consider e-vapor products to be tobacco products until 2011.”

The leaders wrote that “[a]s a practical matter, many newly deemed products could be removed from the market” if the 2007 date is not changed. 

While the letter is primarily aimed at e-cigs, it does acknowledge that cigars could also be impacted by the 2007 date.  The lawmakers are suggesting the new date be April 2014 or whenever the regulations go into effect. If the FDA changes the date for all the newly deemed products that would at least be a start.


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