Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL) is trying to give the handmade cigar industry more time. Along with 32 other members of the House of Representatives, Posey has sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) urging the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to extend its open comment period pertaining to the regulation of the premium cigar industry, and to delay the August 10 labeling deadline for cigar packaging and advertising.
The letter was addressed to Mick Mulvaney, director of the OMB.
The advance notice of proposed rulemaking (also known as ANPRM) began March 26, and gives the public an opportunity to voice its opinions on all matters concerning the FDA’s regulation of the cigar industry. But the comments section will close on June 25. Posey hopes to extend this period by another 90 days.
He is also looking to push back the labeling deadline another 90 days as well. Under the impending deadline, all cigar companies will have to cover at least 30 percent of each cigar box with health warning stickers by August 10, as well as cover 20 percent of their cigar advertisements with warnings. A lawsuit in Texas is challenging those warning requirements.
The letter reads:
“As members of the U.S. Congress representing all sectors of the hand-rolled premium cigar industry, we remain concerned that the FDA’s regulatory overreach on this issue, which is contrary to Congress’ intent under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA), will continue to impose greater economic burdens on the manufacturers and retailers of premium cigars.”