The Cigar Association of America (CAA), Cigar Rights of America (CRA) and International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers’ Association (IPCPR) will file a lawsuit by early next month challenging the legality of the impending regulation of cigars by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
The three groups held a joint meeting last month and leaders of the IPCPR were at a meeting held by the CRA today in Doral, Fla. Also in attendance were many cigar manufacturers.
Multiple individuals in attendance told halfwheel attendees were told by CRA that a joint lawsuit will be filed by the three groups on July 4.
A source told halfwheel that three organizations were still negotiating a finalized legal strategy. Even if a joint lawsuit cannot be agreed to before early July, it seems inevitable that at least one of the three would file a lawsuit individually before the first set of rules take effect on Aug. 8.
Glynn Loope, executive director of CRA, declined to comment on today’s meeting.
So far, two cigar companies have filed a lawsuit against FDA’s restrictions, which will require cigars to receive FDA approval, introduce new warning labels, place restrictions on free samples and require smaller changes at the retail level. In addition, cigar importers will be required to pay user fees—expected to be less than 5 cents per cigar—as well as incur other regulatory costs for product compliance.
Altria, the largest tobacco company in the world, filed a lawsuit over restrictions that would force it to change the name of its popular Black & Mild cigars because “mild” descriptions would be restricted.
Earlier this month, Global Premium Cigars—the company behind the 1502 brand—filed lawsuit over a variety of complaints over larger parts of the new rules.
Today, the American Vaping Association filed a lawsuit against FDA, this comes after two separate lawsuits by individual vaping companies.
All of these lawsuits are likely to seek injunctions that would prevent FDA from enforcing parts or all of the new regulations. The agency has stated that it will fight any court orders and will enforce all parts of the law that are not prohibited by a court order as litigation plays out.
For more on FDA’s regulation of premium cigars, please visit halfwheel.com/fda.