Lawmakers Include Premium Cigar Warning in FDA Spending Bills

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Lawmakers Include Premium Cigar Warning in FDA Spending Bills


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Premium cigars may have just been given a reprieve from some federal lawmakers.

The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee passed a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) spending bill yesterday, but not before including stern language to the FDA about regulating premium cigars, according to The Miami Herald.

"The committee reminds the FDA that premium cigars have unique characteristics and cost-prohibitive price points, and are not marketed to kids. Any effort to regulate cigars should take these items into consideration," the language states.

The warning is found within 89 pages of report language, the text that accompanies legislation. While it does not carry the force of the law -- or outright prohibit the FDA from regulating premium cigars -- it is often used to convey congressional intent, the newspaper reported.

It added that an FDA spending bill in the Senate includes similar language. "The committee strongly encourages the agency to issue this proposed rule and promulgate regulations as necessary. The committee instructs the agency to consider, among other things, the issue of cigars with characterizing flavors, particularly as it applies to the marketing and sale of these products to children," the bill states.

The FDA was granted authority to regulate tobacco products under the June 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Two bills have been introduced in Congress (H.R. 1639 in the U.S. House of Representatives; S. 1461 in the U.S. Senate) that would block the agency from regulating premium cigars like cigarettes, as CSNews Online previously reported.