Cigars Next for FDA Regulation

"Agenda" suggests agency could take on additional tobacco category as soon as June

WASHINGTON -- A brief posting in the Dec. 20, 2010, issue of the Federal Register, the Department of Health and Human Services suggests cigars could come under regulation by the Food and Drug Administration as soon as June 2011.

The Federal Register published the agency's semi-annual "Regulatory Agenda," which provides a forecast of numerous rulemaking actions under development that the agency expects to undertake in the foreseeable future. The FDA is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

In the published notice, Sequence Number 325 [image-nocss] lists a proposed rule titled "Cigars Subject to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act," acccording to a recent newsletter from the National Association of Tobacco Outlets. This act is the law that granted the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products.

The notice includes the abstract on this proposed rule, which states that "[t]his proposed rule would deem cigars to be subject to the Tobacco Control Act and include provisions to address public health concerns raised by cigars."

To date, cigars have remained separate from the act, although many in the industry assumed they would evenutally fall under the FDA's regulation. In the notice, a possible action timetable for a proposed rule on cigars is June 2011.

Click hereto read the complete abstract.