Day 2 of 2023 TMA Annual Conference Recap

The final day of the 2023 Tobacco Merchants Association (TMA) Conference concluded Wednesday, April 19th, with a keynote address by former director of science at the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), Dr. Todd Cecil.

Some comments by Dr. Cecil in his speech troublingly suggested that all tobacco products be held to burdensome testing and manufacturing standards usually applied to pharmaceutical products. CRA firmly believes that such requirements are fundamentally inappropriate for handmade, agricultural products like premium cigars. 

FDA has been widely criticized for failing to support its policies on premium cigars with sound science. The courts, independent scientists at the NASEM, and policy experts at the Reagan-Udall Foundation have agreed on this point, and FDA has responded by promising to put evidence back in the driver’s seat. As part of their reform plan, they have named a new Director of the Office of Science, Dr. Matthew Farrelly. We look forward to meeting with Dr. Farrelly as the Agency pursues this critical reset. 

Day Two of TMA also included a discussion of FDA’s proposed rule for Tobacco Manufacturers. This rule is intended to require all tobacco growers, manufacturers, and packagers to adopt onerous process changes and recordkeeping requirements. Significantly, the rule would also apply to products manufactured outside the United States. 

CRA is working diligently to engage with FDA on this rule to prevent this proposed rule from becoming a problem for being applied to premium cigars.

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