A resolution introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would remove the Food and Drug Administration’s authority to regulate premium cigars, according to Halfwheel.
Cigar Rights of America (CRA) worked with Representative Byron Donalds to introduce the joint resolution, which would provide a definition of premium cigars and specify that the term “tobacco product” does not mean premium cigar.
To be considered a premium cigar, a product must meet these requirements: is wrapped in whole tobacco leaf; contains a 100 percent leaf tobacco binder; contains at least 50 percent (of the filler by weight) long filler tobacco (i.e., whole tobacco leaves that run the length of the cigar); is handmade or hand-rolled (i.e., no machinery was used apart from simple tools, such as scissors to cut the tobacco prior to rolling); has no filter, nontobacco tip or nontobacco mouthpiece; does not have a characterizing flavor other than tobacco; contains only tobacco, water and vegetable gum with no other ingredients or additives; and weighs more than 6 pounds per 1,000 units.
The resolution has gained 10 co-sponsors from both political parties. It has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and is awaiting further action.
If the resolution is passed, premium cigars would be exempt from all aspects of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Congress would take back authority over cigar regulation.