*Updated June 27*
The Food & Drug Administration has announced it is extending the period for public comments on its proposed cigar regulations by 30 days, to August 8.
In the June 24 edition of the Federal Register, the FDA announced the new deadline, adding that the action was in response to requests for such an extension.
"Cigar Rights of America is pleased that the FDA comment period was extended until August 8, but still feels that more time is needed to properly prepare a comprehensive response to the over 70 points pertaining to cigars in the [proposed FDA regulations],” said Glynn Loope, executive director of the Cigar Rights of America. Loope added that last week, his organization filed for another extension that requests an additional 45 days for public comment. “This is only fair to the consumers, retail tobacconists and manufacturers, that are still digesting what FDA has presented,” he said.
Since 2009, the government agency has overseen the United States tobacco industry, and while it has adopted new regulations for cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco and other tobacco products, cigars have largely been left alone. However, on April 24, the FDA announced that it intends increase regulations on tobacco products, including cigars, and it said that it may also exclude premium cigars from the regulations.
One of the more controversial FDA propositions is the agency's updated definition of a premium cigar in which it says a premium cigar must carry a suggested retail price of $10 or higher.
Since the announcement, the agency has been seeking public comment via its website, www.regulations.gov. As of now, 34,598 comments had been submitted so far.
Public support is needed in order to gain an exemption for premium cigars. If you haven't submitted a comment, you can do so by clicking here.
For more, read Marvin R. Shanken's blog on the FDA and your cigars.