FDA announces its final rule deeming all "tobacco products" to be subject to regulation under the Tobacco Control Act of 2009. What exactly does this mean for our industry? Well the ugly results will begin to trickle in over the next few months, however what we do know is change is coming and it's certainly not for the best.
The initial "supposed aim" of this bill was to prevent tobacco products from reaching our youth hence the immediate action of the following:
- Not allowing products to be sold to persons under the age of 18 years (both in-person and online);
- Requiring age verification by photo ID;
- Not allowing the selling of tobacco products in vending machines (unless in an adult-only facility); and
- Not allowing the distribution of free samples.
Not exactly anything premium cigar industry would need to worry about? Think again, the regulations will not stop here. In addition to said regulations, the FDA will also require any tobacco product that has entered the market after February 15, 2007 to be subject to review and approval. That includes all shapes, sizes and blends of cigars. Anything prior to the date will be grandfathered in, but one can only image the detriment to smaller cigar companies having to pay the hefty price tags of each blend and different lines to be reviewed and approved by FDA standards. Time will tell the catastrophic hit to our industry. Even the larger companies that can sustain such a blow will have no choice but to trickle these fees back down to the consumers pockets. Regulations will also affect our retailers. Once full review of the 499 pages of this bill are read and implemented we will have a better understanding of the total affect of this terrible news. I urge you all to read for yourself and voice your opinion as once again another freedom and right is taken away from us by big government. Here is a link to the document if you would like to read through for yourself. https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/05/10/2016-10685/deeming-tobacco-products-to-be-subject-to-the-federal-food-drug-and-cosmetic-act-as-amended-by-the
FDA claims "This action is a milestone in consumer protection" – going forward, the FDA will be able to:
- Review new tobacco products not yet on the market;
- Help prevent misleading claims by tobacco product manufacturers;
- Evaluate the ingredients of tobacco products and how they are made; and
- Communicate the potential risks of tobacco products.
This final rule goes into effect on August 8, 2016.
These examples are yet another reason premium cigars should NOT be included in their ridiculous regulations! Premium cigars deserve to be separated from "regular tobacco products" as they are not addictive and enjoyed only by adults. What's next? This is only the beginning to what can happen to our personal liberties. There is something eerily familiar to this regulation that was attempted by our government in the past... PROHIBITION! Next thing we know our food choices, music, movies, clothing and who knows what else will be subject to government approval. I thought we lived in a Democratic state?
One final message to the FDA: STAY THE HELL OUT OF OUR HUMIDORS!