The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to announce its proposed deeming document tomorrow according to the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA) and other industry trade groups. The document has been long talked about by the FDA, as it prepares to expand its regulation of other tobacco products.
According to Mitch Zeller, the director for the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, the deeming document will be more of a roadmap than law. It’s unclear how detailed it will be, but it is expected to deal with premium cigars, e-cigarettes and other categories the FDA does not currently regulate.
In 2009, Congress gave the FDA authority to regulate premium cigars and other tobacco-derived products in the Tobacco Control Act.
“The tools that we have in this law are going to help product regulation contribute to a comprehensive national tobacco control effort to achieve that effort,” said Zeller.
The organization has repeatedly stated that it will allow public comment in between the time the deeming document is released and before any new policy is introduced. The length of that time and the willingness of the FDA to change its plans remains to be seen.
During a webinar last year, Zeller indicated that the FDA had heard requests from the premium cigar industry and would take them into consideration in crafting the deeming document.
Earlier today, in separate announcements the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association, the Cigar Association of America and Cigar Rights of America indicated they believed the deeming document was coming shortly.
Last week, the FDA issued a statement indicating that the deeming document had not been leaked to TVECA.