1 Year of Cigar Aficionado for $10 PLUS a Free Gift!

Legislation

Cigar Industry Argues FDA Warnings in Appeals Court

Oct 29, 2019 | By Andrew Nagy
Cigar Industry Argues FDA Warnings in Appeals Court

The cigar industry earlier today argued in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington D.C. Circuit, one of the country’s highest courts, that the Food and Drug Administration’s warning scheme included in its Final Deeming Rule is unconstitutional.

“The FDA warnings must cover 30 percent of the two main sides of every cigar and pipe tobacco box and 20 percent of every cigar and pipe tobacco advertisement. They come in a stark, black on white format that makes the government the most prominent speaker on each medium,” said Michael Edney, lead counsel for the cigar industry, in his opening statement. “The law has developed to make clear that these warnings violate the First Amendment.”

Today’s hearing was the latest development in Cigar Association of America, et al. v. United States Food and Drug Administration, et al., a case that can be traced back to July 2016.

Edney, representing the three major cigar lobbying groups—The Cigar Association of America, Premium Cigar Association and the Cigar Rights of America—challenged the FDA’s warning plan in front of Judges Merrick Garland, Gregory Katsas and A. Raymond Randolph.

According to Edney’s arguments, roughly 80 percent of all cigars on the market today must display one of four warnings that was settled upon in 2000 when the Federal Trade Commission and the then seven largest U.S. cigar manufacturers agreed to include health warnings on their products.

The FDA's new warning requirements not only adopt the FTC's, but builds upon them, too. In addition to the four FTC warning labels, the FDA is adding two more warning labels for use on cigar packaging, including an addictiveness warning that is required to appear on cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco and other tobacco products.

At this point, there is no set deadline for those warnings to appear, and the FDA remains undecided on many of the particulars for the warnings as it reevaluates its own policy and reconsiders details such as how broad the rule should be and whether there is any evidence that premium cigars pose less of a health risk than other tobacco products.

FDA

More in Legislation

See all
Court Strikes Down Key Premarket Review Process for Premium Cigars

Court Strikes Down Key Premarket Review Process for Premium Cigars

Premium cigar manufacturers no longer have to worry about the upcoming September 9 deadline for some …

Aug 19, 2020
FDA Asks Court to Consider Premium Cigar Deferral Proposal

FDA Asks Court to Consider Premium Cigar Deferral Proposal

As the September 9 deadline for cigar manufacturers to submit their premarket applications to the FDA …

Aug 6, 2020
Pennsylvania Reps Prod President to Eliminate Premium Cigar Regulations

Pennsylvania Reps Prod President to Eliminate Premium Cigar Regulations

Half of Pennsylvania’s 18 representatives earlier this week signed and sent a letter to President …

Jul 15, 2020
Court Strikes Down FDA’s Cigar Warning Label Plan

Court Strikes Down FDA’s Cigar Warning Label Plan

A trio of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington D.C. Circuit ruled unanimously this …

Jul 7, 2020
Florida Representatives Urge President to Drop Cigar Industry Regulations

Florida Representatives Urge President to Drop Cigar Industry Regulations

In response to the economic downturn, a dozen representatives from Florida have signed and sent a …

Jun 8, 2020
Court Ruling Ends Chances of 2021 Deadline for FDA Product Reports

Court Ruling Ends Chances of 2021 Deadline for FDA Product Reports

The FDA’s pre-market application deadline for cigars will remain September 9 after a trio of judges …

May 5, 2020