Cigars Aren’t Cigarettes. A New Bill Proposes That the FDA Regulate Them Accordingly.
A bipartisan bill in Congress seeks to get the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) out of the premium cigar industry.
The measure, from Reps. Kathy Castor (D–Fla.) and Bill Posey (R–Fla.), was introduced in the House earlier this month. It aims to deregulate the manufacture and sale of premium cigars by removing them from the jurisdiction of the Tobacco Control Act of 2009.
In 2000, the Supreme Court case FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. determined that the FDA did not currently have the ability to regulate tobacco as it was neither a “drug” nor a “device.”
Consequently, the Tobacco Control Act of 2009 was passed to explicitly grant the FDA the new power to regulate tobacco products, similar to how it regulates food and pharmaceuticals. It allowed the FDA to establish its own tobacco product standards, restrict tobacco marketing, and mandate warning labels. Originally, it applied only to cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, and smokeless tobacco—but left room for the FDA to regulate “any other tobacco products that the Secretary by regulation deems to be subject.” In 2016, the FDA decided that this meant it could regulate cigars and pipes.
The new bill proposed in the House would reverse this expansion, clearly delimiting the boundaries of the Tobacco Control Act so as to not apply to premium cigars. Similar legislation was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R–Fla.) back in February.
Although the text of the new bill is not currently available, the Sena
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