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July 28, 2017



CRA & IPCPR Joint Statement on FDA’s Policy Announcement Regarding the Regulation of Premium Cigars





July 28, 2017 


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Commissioner of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, announced a new comprehensive plan for the approach the agency will take to the regulation of tobacco products, placing an emphasis on a science-based method, that notes a “continuum of risk” that recognizes the differences in tobacco products.


Importantly, Dr. Gottlieb stated that FDA will reexamine the treatment of premium cigars under the agency’s current regulatory structure. Ultimately, the agency will open a new rule making process to engage with the industry to better understand premium cigars, specifically.  As representatives of the premium cigar industry, Cigar Rights of America (“CRA”) and the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (“IPCPR”) are encouraged by the FDA’s renewed and objective approach to the industry, and welcome the opportunity to again demonstrate the skilled artisan nature of premium cigars, and how they are truly distinctive, at all levels.


For premium cigar manufacturers and retailers, today’s announcement provides some clarity on the path forward. Of note, CRA and IPCPR applaud the decision to provide targeted relief to some pending deadlines dictated in the 2016 final rule.  This includes revising the pre-market application deadline to August 8, 2021.  Moreover, under today’s guidelines tobacco products with pre-market applications submitted to the FDA can stay on the market for the duration of the application review process.  In addition to changes announced today, CRA and IPCPR are awaiting further information from the FDA, regarding other key future compliance deadlines. Importantly, compliance requirements that have already gone into force will remain in effect for manufacturers and retailers alike.


CRA, IPCPR, and other industry partners look forward to working with the FDA as it implements the approach announced today.


CRA Exective Director Glynn Loope and Mark Pursell IPCPR CEO stated upon FDA’s announcement, “This has been a long and complicated process, which is not over.  However, we commend the objective approach announced today by the Commissioner of the FDA. This revisiting of the rule is testament to the recognition that you cannot regulate all products in the same manner.  We would like to thank our bipartisan coalition of congressional allies that have assisted in reinforcing that message to the administration, as we begin the next steps in this process.”


For comments, questions, or additional information regarding the FDA’s announcement, please contact the individuals listed below.




Glynn Loope


Cody Carden

(202) 469.3444



Mark Pursell


Daniel Trope

(202) 849.6045






A letter regarding AB 709

To: Liberty Tobacco Customers,

Re:  AB 709 Anti-Couponing/Discounting Bill

Date:  July 6, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote regarding Assembly Bill 709, which would prohibit tobacco retailers from accepting coupons, providing multi-pack discounts, or generally discounting tobacco products. For those of you who have acted to oppose this bill, thank you!

If you have not been able to act yet, now is the time-the bill is scheduled to go before a Committee on Monday, July 10. We are again trying to contact every legislator in both the Assembly and the Senate.  You can take action by clicking this link:

CLICK HERE to Oppose AB 709!

It will take you to a page where all you need do is click the “Send Messages” button and emaisl will automatically be sent to the Assemblymen and Senators in the districts where your stores are located.

If you have any questions on how the system works or would like to know anything else about this bill, please let me know.

Thank you for your involvement in and support of NATO!

Steve Duffy
NATO Legislative Consultant