House Freedom Caucus Calls on Trump to Repeal FDA Regulation of Cigars

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It should come as no surprise that a number of laws and regulations will be challenged by the incoming legislature and Trump administration, but now there is a formal list of targets compiled by a group of House conservatives that has been submitted to President-elect Trump, and on that list is the regulation of premium cigars by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

On Thursday, Congressman Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina) released a document called “First 100 Days: Rules, Regulations and Executive Orders to Examine, Revoke and Issue.” The report contains 228 line-itemed rules and regulations that the House Freedom Caucus feels should be addressed by President-elect Trump following his inauguration, specifically in his first 100 days in office.

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Meadows is the incoming chair of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of House members that identify themselves as a “smaller, more cohesive, more agile and more active” group of conservatives. The group was founded in January 2015 and according to its mission statement, “The House Freedom Caucus gives a voice to countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them. We support open, accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety and prosperity of all Americans.”

Number 55 on the list and under the header of the Department of Health and Human Services is a repeal on FDA regulation of premium cigars. “The threat of FDA restrictions have loomed over the cigar business ever since the FDA took control over cigarettes; yesterday morning, the other shoe finally dropped,” the report notes. “The worst fear of cigar manufacturers and smokers alike has been that the FDA will impose the same onerous pre-market review requirements on cigars that it currently places on cigarettes.”

The report puts the cost of the rule to be between $48.5-102.5 million, though doesn’t specify details about that cost.

“These last 8 years, we have seen a disturbing trend of the federal government unnecessarily inserting themselves more and more into the lives of hardworking Americans – and the results have been economically disastrous,” Rep. Meadows said in a press release. “When the American people spoke on November 8, they provided conservatives with an opportunity to restore order in our government and to remove the out-of-control bureaucratic red tape that so often stunts the growth of otherwise successful Americans. My colleagues and I look forward to helping President-elect Trump in any way we can as we work toward the most productive ‘first 100 days’ in modern history. To the working people who have felt the burden of these last 8 years so heavily — help is on the way.”

The Trump transition team has not released a statement on the document.

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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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