They say the only guarantees in life are death and taxes. Some may add tobacco regulations to that list.
Most of the concern centers on the amount of legislation swirling around at the local level. However, this past fall, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb revealed several proposals that would, if implemented, be some of the biggest tobacco-related moves at the federal level since the FDA received regulatory authority over tobacco products under the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
On Nov. 15, Gottlieb directed the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) to reexamine its policies on the sale of flavored electronic cigarette and vapor products — specifically, new considerations around allowing the sale of such products only in age-restricted, in-person locations and, if sold online, under heightened practices for age verification.
In addition, the CTP was directed to revisit the issue of menthol in combustible tobacco products. Taking into account the comments the FDA received on its initial Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on menthol in March 2018, the agency will advance another notice that would seek to ban menthol in products like cigarettes and cigars.
Flavored cigars would also be on the chopping block if Gottlieb's directives make their way past the proposal stage to full implementation.
These proposed rule shifts are alarming for the tobacco industry and could have a huge negative effect on one of the top-selling categories in the convenience channel.