Nothing in the 2016 deeming regulations treats flavored cigars any differently than non-flavored cigars, but it doesn't mean FDA didn't try.
As part of the documents released around 2016, one document showed what FDA submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), an executive agency that oversees any new rule proposed by an executive agency like FDA. That proposed document shows that FDA wanted to introduced stricter requirements and timelines for flavored tobacco products. Ultimately, these changes were removed before the deeming regulations went into effect.
In March 2019, then FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb announced the agency would begin to take steps to regulate flavored tobacco products differently than non-flavored cigars.
The first of those steps will be requiring flavored tobacco products to go through the approval process before the Aug. 8, 2021 deadline that applies to all tobacco products.
As of May 2019, FDA has not formally initiated this process. Furthermore, a U.S. District Court threw out the August 2021 date, further complicating the approval process for all products.
Regardless, FDA has made its intentions clear, it believes that flavored tobacco products are more dangerous than flavored products and it wants to regulate them more aggressively.
Last Updated: May 24, 2019.