At 11:59 p.m. tomorrow night, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration will stop receiving public comments on the controversial cigar regulations it proposed back in April.
In other words, there is still a small frame of time for cigar smokers to speak up and submit comments to the government agency. As of today, 72,146 comments have been submitted, but J. Glynn Loope, executive director of the Cigar Rights of America, is urging cigar enthusiasts to submit more.
"[The FDA] has rejected the calls for another extension, making these remaining hours our last chance to make our case," said Loope. "CRA and allied industry partners will be filing formal comments addressing over 70 different items from the Deeming Regulation, as well as public health and economic data that should be taken into consideration, but it is the words of the ‘cigar public,' that need to be heard, as well."
To help those who need assistance commenting, Loope said the CRA office will be open until 11:50 p.m. on Friday night. You can enter a comment by clicking here.
Since 2009, the FDA 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 to 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 cigar must carry a suggested retail price of no less than $10 to be legally classified as premium.
To read more about the FDA proposal, see FDA Moves on Tobacco, Could Spare Premium Cigars.