NOW LIVE: A Never Before Seen Interview with Sports Legend Michael Jordan

Legislation

D.C. Judge Strikes Down Warning Labels for Premium Cigars

Feb 3, 2020 | By Andrew Nagy
D.C. Judge Strikes Down Warning Labels for Premium Cigars

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wanted to place oversized warning labels on premium cigar packaging when it published its Final Deeming Rule four years ago, but earlier today a judge based in Washington D.C. struck down the agency’s plan.

“The Deeming Rule’s warning requirements for premium cigars is hereby vacated, and this portion of the Rule is remanded to the agency for further proceedings consistent with this Memorandum Opinion,” wrote U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta in his opinion filed this morning in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Mehta defended his decision by pointing to evidence that “premium cigars have different usage patterns than other cigar and tobacco products, they are almost never used by youth, and they are instead used by older, higher income, and better educated consumers.”

When the Final Deeming Rule was published in 2016, one of the major mandates outlined by the FDA was requiring premium cigar companies to place health warnings that cover at least 30 percent of the cigar box—much larger than what was previously required.

The FDA’s warning label scheme has been challenged in two separate lawsuits, one called Cigar Association of America, et al. v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, et al., filed in Washington D.C., and the other En Fuego Tobacco Shop LLC, et al. v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, et al., filed in Texas. Two years ago, the Texas lawsuit was transferred to Washington D.C. so that Judge Mehta could decide both cases.

Today’s decision means that Judge Mehta viewed the FDA warning label requirements as illegal, and decided the rules are null and void. The issue has been sent back to the FDA to define what a premium cigar exactly is.

The FDA may opt to appeal Mehta’s decision, but as of now the agency’s plan is undefined.
 

FDA

More in Legislation

See all
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
Judge Extends Deadline for FDA Product Approval Reports

Judge Extends Deadline for FDA Product Approval Reports

Cigar manufacturers received a bit of good news last week as the FDA’s premarket application deadline …

Apr 28, 2020
New York State Raising Cigar Taxes This Fall

New York State Raising Cigar Taxes This Fall

New York state lawmakers passed a $177 billion budget for 2021 that includes a tax rate of 75 percent …

Apr 15, 2020