WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Cigar Rights of America (“CRA”) filed a comment on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) proposal regarding flavored tobacco products.
The CRA submission agrees with FDA that the Proposed Rule is inapplicable to premium cigars because premium cigars, by definition, do not have characterizing flavors. However, we remain concerned that certain subjective factors identified by FDA as being relevant to determining whether a cigar has a characterizing flavor could inadvertently sweep in premium cigars that contain no flavor additives.
If the Proposed Rule is finalized, CRA asserts in our comment, that FDA should clarify that the existence of a characterizing flavor will be determined based only on objective factors, such as the product’s labeling and advertising and the existence of flavor additives. For example, a cigar could not be considered to have a characterizing flavor when it does not have any flavor additives. Similarly, FDA should acknowledge that the mere presence of flavor additives does not necessarily entail a characterizing flavor. This would be consistent with congressional intent, as well as with the manner in which FDA enforces the existing characterizing flavor ban for cigarettes.
CRA thanks the FDA for the opportunity to provide comment and feedback on the proposal, and we look forward to FDA’s thoughtful consideration of our comments when finalizing the proposed rule.