FDA Preparing Report on Raising Minimum Age for Tobacco Use

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As part of their increasing regulation of the tobacco industry, the Food and Drug Administration is quickly approaching the release of a pair of reports, one of which could have drastic ramifications for the tobacco industry. In an infographic showing a timeline of the “history and milestones” of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the FDA notes two reports that will be released by April 2015.

The first is a report to Congress on public understanding of the risks of tobacco use. The second has the possibility to affect the industry as a whole, as the FDA’s Center for Tobacco for Prevention (CTP) is due to report to Congress on the public health impact of raising the minimum purchase tobacco age.

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The report is a requirement of Section 104 of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. It requires the CTP to convene “an expert panel” to study the impact on public health if an age increased was enacted. Per the Act, it is due no later than five years after the date of the Act’s enactment.

Moves like this have been in the news as of late, with a New Jersey state senator proposing raising his state’s minimum age for tobacco use to 21, and a New York City councilwoman looking to do the same thing. Similar proposals have been found in Texas, Oklahoma and Chicago this year.

The premium cigar industry has been waiting for the CTP to issue potential regulations on their products, with a number of possibilities that could greatly limit consumer access to premium handmade cigars. Among the concerns that organizations including Cigar Rights of America (CRA) and the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) have expressed concern over are bans on walk-in humidors, self serve cigar displays, and mail-order/internet cigar sales; bans on flavored cigars; requirements for plain packaging or packaging with grotesque graphic images; bans on events where samples are provided; limits on cigar marketing and advertising; a requirement that blends be submitted to the FDA for review before being offered for sale; and bans on cigar-related merchandise such as hats and t-shirts.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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