Cigar Industry Files Appeal Against FDA’s Final Deeming Rule

Cigar Industry Files Appeal Against FDA’s Final Deeming Rule

The cigar industry’s battle against onerous regulations enacted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not over. The three main lobbying groups that represent the cigar industry have filed a joint appeal that reaffirms their challenge of the FDA’s Final Deeming Rule that was passed in May 2016.

In the appeal, which was filed last Tuesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the Cigar Association of America, International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers, and Cigar Rights of America once again argue that the Final Deeming Rule is unconstitutional. The appeal is the latest in the cigar industry’s case against the FDA, which is called Cigar Association of America, et al. v. United States Food and Drug Administration.

Specifically, the document reasserts that the FDA’s warning plan is unconstitutional and a violation of the First Amendment. 

Two years ago, the cigar industry argued its case against the FDA in court, but ultimately the judge last year ruled in favor of the FDA. In his opinion, however, the judge expressed his displeasure of the FDA warnings and how they pertain to premium, handmade cigars, saying that the plan “smacks of basic unfairness.”

In response, the premium cigar industry filed an appeal last year to delay the FDA warnings, and the judge issued an injunction to delay the warnings. The judge’s injunction delays the FDA from enforcing its warning label requirements until 60 days after the appeals process is complete.

According to court documents, the government has until April 22 to file its response with the court, with final briefs scheduled to be filed by June 10. After that, the court will schedule oral arguments before a three-judge panel, and according to industry sources, it’s unlikely that they will decide the case before early next year.