Nothing like ending the week with a bang, right? It was announced today that three of the largest cigar groups in the nation–the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailer Association (IPCPR), Cigar Rights of America (CRA) and Cigar Association of America (CAA) have filed a joint lawsuit against the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). With the regulations that would greatly impair the cigar industry set to go into play beginning August 8, 2016, this could help rally the industry that been shaken by the regulations that would stunt business growth if not eliminate some manufacturers and brands all together.
“Just over one month ago, our three associations pledged to work together to develop the appropriate response to the FDA’s new deeming rule. After a thorough and detailed legal review, we are challenging this unlawful regulatory action in federal court to protect the statutory and constitutional rights of our industry and its members. The fact that all three of our organizations are acting in one voice speaks to the urgency and seriousness of this action,” said Mark Pursell, CEO of the IPCPR.
The lawsuit challenges the FDA in the following areas:
– The application of the Feb. 15, 2007 grandfather date
– The additional user fees only being applied to cigars and pipes, not to electronic cigarettes
– The decision to make warning labels 30 percent of the packaging
– The classification of retailers who blend their own pipe tobacco as “manufacturers”
– FDA’s decision to not include financial impact analysis for small business
– FDA’s regulation of pipes as an accessory.
Global Premium Cigars, owned by Enrique Sanchez, filed a lawsuit against the FDA’s deeming regulations as did Altria, the world’s largest tobacco company. Many in the cigar industry have commented on the lack of action within the cigar industry as a whole as compared to the vapor industry, which is also impacted greatly by the new regulations. How this will impact the regulations is still in question, and the FDA has indicated that it still plans to enforce its ruling come August 8 of this year.
More is sure to come out about this lawsuit and how these three groups plan to move forward, especially with the annual IPCPR Show nearly a week away.