CDA Rallies Members Around Tobacco Regulation Change

RESTON, Va. — As the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) deeming rule continues to wind its way through Washington, D.C., the Convenience Distribution Association (CDA) is asking its members to let legislators know where they stand on the proposed predicate date for other tobacco products, including cigars and electronic cigarettes.

According to the Reston-based association, Congress is considering legislation that would change the predicate date in the FDA deeming rule, which will determine how tobacco products go to market. Currently, that date is set under the Tobacco Control Act for Feb. 15, 2007. New product brands introduced to the market after that date will have to submit "complex and burdensome pre-approval applications" to the FDA, the group said. 

Opponents of the date have long argued that the 2007 date will make it hard for e-cigarette and vapor products to go to market since they are a relatively new category.

"Since electronic cigarettes were in their infancy in 2007, most of these products would be required to file technically near-impossible applications just to stay on the market," CDA said.

Congress is expected to act on legislation this week to change the predicate date from 2007 to the effective date of the final tobacco deeming rule — likely late 2015 or early 2016 — and make that date permanent, according to the association. 

The date change will not impact the agency's ability to regulate cigars or e-cigarettes, but this change, which CDA supports, will allow cigars and e-cigarettes to be treated similarly to cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.

The Convenience Distribution Association, formerly AWMA, is the trade organization working on behalf of convenience products distributors in the United States. Its distributor members represent more than $92 billion in U.S convenience product sales, serving a wide variety of small retail formats. Associate members include leading convenience product manufacturers, brokers, retailers, suppliers and others allied to the industry.

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