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Judge Delays Cigar Warning-Label Mandate

Aug. 10 deadline pushed back in court ruling

WASHINGTON -- A federal judge pushed back a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deadline requiring cigar companies to place warning labels on boxes beginning Aug. 10, according to halfweel.com.

U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta ruled that requirements for cigar boxes and advertisements to carry warning labels will be delayed until 60 days after the U.S. Court of Appeals makes further rulings on the matter.

In Mehta’s July 5 decision, he mentioned a recent ruling by the Supreme Court. “The issues appealed by the plaintiffs present serious legal questions as to the constitutionality of FDA’s warnings regime, a conclusion only reinforced by the Supreme Court’s recent decision in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra.”

That Supreme Court decision came down just minutes before the start of a hearing in another lawsuit, filed by three Texas cigar businesses against FDA warning labels, the cigar-focused website said. The attorneys in the Texas courtroom made the argument that the FDA’s position was only weakened by Becerra.

In arguing for the delay, the cigar industry said the requirements of warning labels on boxes and advertisements may not be legal and also could cost the cigar industry millions of dollars, particularly as the FDA has shown interest in revisiting its cigar regulations, halfweel.com reported.

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