Rep. Tom Price, R-Georgia, has been selected by President-elect Donald Trump to be the next secretary of the Department Health and Human Services (HHS), the government department that oversees many health-related initiatives and agencies—most notably for cigar smokers, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Price, who is an orthopedic surgeon, is a cigar smoker who supported previous efforts to exempt premium cigars from FDA control, co-sponsoring H.R. 1639 in the 112th congress, and H.R. 792 in the 113th congress. Both of those bills sought to remove FDA’s authority to regulate premium cigars.
Interestingly, Price is not listed as a co-sponsor of H.R. 662, the current bill that would exempt premium cigars.
“Chairman Price recognizes the regulatory burdens that have been threatening the future of small businesses in Georgia and across the country,” said Matt Dogali, the senior director of state legislative affairs for the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR), in a statement to halfwheel. “That understanding is tremendously important within the Department of Health and Human Services. We look forward to working with him and President-elect Trump to ensure small business retailers on Main Streets across America are able to continue running their businesses, serving their customers and creating jobs for their employees.”
Price’s nomination will need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
(Image via twitter.com/reptomprice)