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U.S. Judge Strikes Down F.D.A. Regulation of Premium Cigars - The New York Times

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  tacos  •  10 months ago  •  26 comments

By:   Christina Jewett (nytimes)

U.S. Judge Strikes Down F.D.A. Regulation of Premium Cigars - The New York Times
Hand-rolled, specialty cigars should not be subject to the broader F.D.A. regulatory rules over tobacco use, a federal judge ruled.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


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By Christina Jewett

Aug. 10, 2023, 3:07 p.m. ET

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The News


A federal judge struck down the Food and Drug Administration's authority to regulate premium, hand-rolled cigars on Wednesday, offering relief to makers of a luxury product glamorized in films and celebrations.

The cigar industry has been fighting the F.D.A.'s efforts at regulation in court since 2016, and notched a significant victory about a year ago when U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta ruled that the agency was "arbitrary and capricious" in moving to regulate premium cigars under the broader federal law aimed at reducing tobacco use.

The judge's order applies to cigars that are hand-rolled and tend to be sold in humidors and in specialty stores, rather than the mass-produced machine-rolled cigars typically available at convenience stores.

The order sent Drew Newman, a fourth-generation owner of J.C. Newman Cigar Co. in Tampa, Fla., to his vault in search of a cigar his grandfather rolled decades ago. He "lit it up to celebrate knowing that we can keep our family's tradition alive for future generations."

Image10FDA-CIGARS-mwvh-articleLarge.jpg?quality=75&auto=webp&disable=upscale The F.D.A. sustained a steep setback in its efforts to extend its oversight authority of tobacco products to specialty cigars. A federal judge struck down the agency's regulation that would have imposed some rules on the industry.Credit...Kathy Kmonicek for The New York Times

Not Everyone Is Celebrating


Public health groups including the American Lung Association, American Heart Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Cancer Society had filed briefs in court urging the judge to keep the regulations in place.

On Thursday, Thomas Carr, the national director of policy for the American Lung Association, called the ruling deeply disappointing.

"All cigars, including premium cigars, can cause death and disease, and no tobacco product should be without regulation of any kind," he said. "Even luxury cars need to have seatbelts and airbag warnings. Premium cigars should be no different."

Mr. Carr also cited the National Cancer Institute's conclusion: "Cigar smoking causes cancer of the oral cavity, larynx, esophagus and lung."

In a court filing, the public health groups warned that an exemption would "create the misimpression that premium cigars are safer tobacco products because they are unregulated."

How the Cigar Battle Began


The F.D.A. effort to regulate these cigars stems from the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, under which Congress specifically awarded the agency broad authority over cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. It also allowed the agency to "deem" or identify other products that were to be subject to the law. So in 2014, the F.D.A. began a process to regulate cigars.

The agency did ask for public comment over whether premium cigars could be regulated less rigorously. Cigar Rights of America, an advocacy group and plaintiff in the case, urged the F.D.A. to tread lightly, saying that the smoking of premium cigars was an occasional past time and that many users "do not inhale at all."

The group also argued that most users were mature adults outside the age and scope of the population needing the protections provided by Congress in passing the law.

In turn, the F.D.A. opted to require premium cigar makers to conduct extensive studies of their products, list ingredients and register them annually.

The agency noted that the cigar industry did not offer persuasive evidence about health effects or youth use that would warrant an exemption. The agency concluded that regulating all cigars equally "more completely protects the public health."

Groups supporting the cigar industry, in turn, sued.

The Bigger Picture


The F.D.A. is still busy enforcing numerous parts of the landmark 2009 law. Legal challenges are frequent, particularly as the agency attempts to take thousands of e-cigarette products off the market.

Michael Edney, a partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP who represented the cigar plaintiffs, said the decision had broader implications for tobacco enforcement.

"I think what the court is saying here is that the decision whether and how to regulate certain tobacco products is complicated," he said.

"When industry and retail groups come in and provide evidence about a different path," the F.D.A. really has to analyze it, he said. "They can't just say, 'We want to regulate you folks, and our decision is final.'"

The American Lung Association said it is discussing the decision internally with other public health groups. The F.D.A. said Thursday that it did not comment on litigation.

It was unclear whether the agency would appeal.

Christina Jewett covers the Food and Drug Administration. She is an award-winning investigative journalist and has a strong interest in how the work of the F.D.A. affects the people who use regulated products.More about Christina Jewett

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Tacos!
Professor Guide
1  seeder  Tacos!    10 months ago

Hurrah! Let Freedom Ring! Smoke ring, that is.

Mr. Carr also cited the National Cancer Institute's conclusion: "Cigar smoking causes cancer of the oral cavity, larynx, esophagus and lung."

If you get lung cancer from cigars, you've probably been doing it wrong. ProTip: don't inhale cigar smoke.

the agency was "arbitrary and capricious" in moving to regulate premium cigars under the broader federal law aimed at reducing tobacco use

Naughty.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Tacos! @1    10 months ago
"ProTip: don't inhale cigar smoke."

Right.  Just endanger and make life miserable for everyone around you. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
1.1.1  seeder  Tacos!  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1    10 months ago

Oh please

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.1.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Tacos! @1.1.1    10 months ago

Hey, I really don't give a shit if you want to ignore medical reality.  Smoke it up, enjoy yourself.  But don't fret. because Isn't there a story right-winger cigar smokers can cherish about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky?

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
1.1.3  seeder  Tacos!  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.2    10 months ago
Hey, I really don't give a shit if you want to ignore medical reality.

What medical reality? This is the whole point. You can’t treat all tobacco products the same just because they have tobacco. The medical impact is different. You say I shouldn’t ignore reality, but you need to ignore your own bias and the propaganda you’ve been fed.

because Isn't there a story right-winger cigar smokers can cherish about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky?

That’s a really stupid comment on multiple levels.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.1.4  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Tacos! @1.1.3    10 months ago

As I said, smoke it up, enjoy yourself.  I won't miss you. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
1.1.5  seeder  Tacos!  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.4    10 months ago

Have you considered the possibility that you have no idea what you’re talking about? If not, you should. Consider it basic humility. You don’t know everything.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.1.6  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Tacos! @1.1.5    10 months ago

Something rarely seen on this site, I apologize to you for my nasty comments.  They were uncalled for, and I admit I deserved your response.  

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.1.7  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.6    10 months ago

I've always known it takes a REAL man with class and civility to accept a sincere apology that one makes openly for others to see.   Others HAVE seen it and voiced their respect.  THEY have class. 

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
1.1.8  charger 383  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.7    10 months ago

I disagree with Buzz sometimes; however, I think Buzz is a fine Gentleman of the old school.  Who also makes interesting quizes about movies.  

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.1.9  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  charger 383 @1.1.8    10 months ago

Thanks charger, I try.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.1.11  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  charger 383 @1.1.8    10 months ago

charger, are you hinting that It's about time I created a new quiz?  

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
1.1.12  charger 383  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.11    10 months ago

If you have the time

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
1.1.13  seeder  Tacos!  replied to  Tacos! @1.1.5    10 months ago

Well, I wasn’t offended. I’m more interested in you learning more about something that is apparently unfamiliar to you.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
1.1.14  seeder  Tacos!  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.7    10 months ago
I've always known it takes a REAL man with class and civility to accept a sincere apology that one makes openly for others to see.   Others HAVE seen it and voiced their respect.  THEY have class. 

Is this directed at me?

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Guide
1.3  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  Tacos! @1    10 months ago

Only morons inhale cigars.  Case in point: Rush Limbaugh.

 
 
 
Freefaller
Professor Quiet
1.4  Freefaller  replied to  Tacos! @1    10 months ago
ProTip: don't inhale cigar smoke.

Lol did that with the first cigar I ever smoked, wow was that ever a mistake

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
1.5  Ronin2  replied to  Tacos! @1    10 months ago
If you get lung cancer from cigars, you've probably been doing it wrong. ProTip: don't inhale cigar smoke.

Not trying to ask a stupid question; but "Don't inhale cigar smoke"?

My father (who died of cancer) smoked pipes, cigarettes, and cigars regularly. I know I saw him blow out smoke from all three regularly. Much more than I liked to be around as a kid with allergies. 

Is there a difference in smoking a cigar from a pipe or cigarette?  

I have never smoked (even weed) so have nothing to reference by except seeing my father smoke; and my friends who are not rich enough to smoke cigars.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
1.5.1  seeder  Tacos!  replied to  Ronin2 @1.5    10 months ago
Not trying to ask a stupid question; but "Don't inhale cigar smoke"?

It’s not a stupid question at all. It’s actually really important. If you’ve ever smoked cigarettes or weed, it seems counterintuitive that you wouldn’t inhale, but when it comes to cigars, you don’t - or at least, you shouldn’t. 

With cigars, you draw the smoke into your mouth, as if you were sucking a soda through a straw, and then you hold it there for a second before letting it out. The idea is just to get the flavor into your mouth. And just like you can sip soda without breathing it in, you can take in cigar smoke without breathing it in. 

Also, instead of letting it just tumble out of your mouth, you can redirect it through your nose. We call that a “retrohale.” It’s a good thing to do because you have a lot more flavor receptors in your nose than you do in your mouth. That’s why you see cigar smoke come out of someone’s nose.

Every great once in a while - maybe once or twice in a year - I will accidentally inhale a small amount of cigar smoke, and it sucks.

When I was much younger, I smoked cigarettes for a few years. One of the reasons I quit was because I would run out of breath doing the athletic things I enjoyed doing. I don’t have that problem with cigars.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2  Trout Giggles    10 months ago
Public health groups including the American Lung Association, American Heart Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Cancer Society had filed briefs in court urging the judge to keep the regulations in place.

They all need to get back to making sure we aren't getting exotic diseases and stop messing with smokers. We know the dangers

 
 
 
MonsterMash
Sophomore Quiet
4  MonsterMash    10 months ago

My grandfather smoked cigars from the age of 14 till he died at 99, he never had any type of cancer. The only time he was in the hospital was when he had a gallbladder attack at 81. He and my grandmother were married for over 77 years, he died six weeks after she did, probably from a broken heart. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
4.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  MonsterMash @4    10 months ago

I had an uncle that use to smoke them. I never smoked, but I kind of miss the smell of cigars.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
5  charger 383    10 months ago

My neighbor is 92 and now in a nursing home, he still smokes about 6 big cigars a day and has a bar in his room.  I have known him over 50 years and he was smoking cigars when I was a little boy.  He sat on his porch and smoked big cigars, and people said he looked like Winston Churchill, even in a snowstorm with a big overcoat on.  

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
5.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  charger 383 @5    10 months ago

Some people are lucky.

 
 

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