Cigar industry advocates warn the new FDA regulations on tobacco, particularly a requirement to submit new products for FDA review, may prove too costly for up to 75% of the smaller cigar manufacturers that use more traditional methods.
The premium industry has lobbied for several years for an exemption from the rules, and some of its leaders say they will meet with members of Congress or take legal action to fight the new FDA regulation. Major cigar associations are expected to gather next week to map out a strategy.
“The FDA took the path of least resistance,” said Eric Newman of JC Newman Cigar Co (Tampa, Fla), the fourth generation of his family to head the cigar company. “It is easier to make a one-size fits all regulation than try to understand the nuances of the industry.”
The FDA last Thursday banned the sale of e-cigarettes and cigars to minors and said it would require manufacturers to submit their products for review. Both are proving increasingly popular among teens and middle school students, threatening efforts to keep a new generation away from nicotine addiction and the ills of tobacco.
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