The bill is back. Today on Capitol Hill, U.S. Representative Bill Posey (R-FL) reintroduced a house bill, called the "Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act of 2017," to block the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's efforts to impose its regulation on the premium cigar industry.
"This is about freedom for adults to enjoy a legal product and preventing small businesses from getting caught up in regulations that were never intended for them," said Posey in an official release. "The FDA is overstepping their authority and ignoring congressional intent by applying these burdensome regulations to premium cigars, which are not marketed to children."
Posey maintains that the FDA's rule could negatively impact the tens of thousands of jobs associated with cigar manufacturers and small businesses. His legislation would give an exemption to hand-rolled premium cigars from FDA regulation.
The legislation (H.R. 662) was first introduced in 2015, but the bill didn't pass under the last Congress (114th).
As of today, the reintroduced bill already has 30 co-sponsors. Typically, a bill requires about 218 co-sponsors before it's up for a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives.
"The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was intended to keep teens and children from smoking," said George Cecala, spokesman for Congressman Posey on a phone call to Cigar Aficionado. "Premium cigars do not market to teenagers. We know that. The FDA has overstepped its bounds. Their regulation puts small business in jeopardy and affects the freedoms of adults to enjoy a legal product."