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.
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.