The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a 30-day extension to the public comment period regarding the proposed regulation of cigars, e-cigarettes and pipe and shisha tobacco. The new deadline for public comment is now Aug. 8, 2014.
An announcement from FDA did not explain the reasons behind the extensions.
FDA has published a notice in the Federal Register announcing a 30-day extension of the comment period for the proposed rule, Deeming Tobacco Products To Be Subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as Amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The proposed rule, which appeared in the Federal Register of April 25, 2014, is seeking comments on FDA’s regulatory approach to electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products, proposed options for the regulation of cigars, pathways to market for proposed deemed tobacco products, and compliance dates for certain provisions, among other issues. The comment period will now close on August 8, 2014.
In April, FDA formally announced its intention to regulate the aforementioned tobacco products. These new regulations would require approval, new warning labels and a ban on sampling—all of which would dramatically raise the price of those products, as well as significantly hinder the ability to introduce new products.
FDA has asked for public comment on a variety of issues, notably whether “premium cigars” should be exempt from its regulation. Under Option 1, cigars would not be exempt, under Option 2 “premium cigars” would be exempt. There is also public comment requested over what defines a “premium cigar.”
It is expected that an additional request for an extension will be filed. The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) was originally seeking a 75-day extension.