In 2009, Congress handed over authority on the governance of tobacco products to the Food and Drug Administration. That mandate included a provision wherein the FDA would have the ability to exercise an option that would allow them to also impose guidelines on cigars in addition to chewing tobacco and regular cigarettes. The FDA’s effort to do so, though, has some lawmakers crying foul.
A bill currently circulating in the House of Representatives aims to block the FDA’s ability to regulate cigars the same way they would any other tobacco product, with supporters of the new bill saying that the the 2009 law was not meant to have an effect on cigars. Sellers worry about the effect that health warnings, cordoned off selling areas, and limits on direct phone sales would have on business and cigar perception.
Groups opposed to the new bill include the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and The American Cancer Society, among other anti-smoking crusaders. The 2009 law was meant to get teens to stop smoking. These groups are arguing that by taking away the FDA’s power, the bill would empower certain tobacco product manufacturers to dodge regulation that would impede sales.
Another bill hoping to curtail the FDA’s power is floating around the Senate, but it doesn’t have as much weight behind it. The FDA is currently working fast to make their regulations a reality.