New York City's controversial flavored tobacco ban, which prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco products within the city and was scheduled to go into effect February 26, has been delayed.
The ban, once it takes effect, would prohibit the sale of flavored cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobacco and pipe tobacco.
According to Norman Sharp, president of the Cigar Association of America, the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Manufacturing Company filed suit in federal court against the city on January 26, arguing that in the case of tobacco, federal law trumps local law.
In addition, the CAA wrote to the NYC Departments of Consumer Affairs and of Health and Mental Hygiene, the agencies charged with enforcing the ban, to point out that the law does not address how retailers and distributors are supposed to determine which products are legal to sell and which aren't.
The city has responded by sending a letter to the district court judge who is presiding over the lawsuit that says the city is delaying enforcement of the ban until rules can be established, which likely won't be before early April.
For more on this, see the next issue of Cigar Insider.