FDA-0, Premium Cigars-1: CRA Responds
Yesterday, the Premium Cigar Industry got a win. But before we start looking for Gatorade to pour on ourselves, many in the industry recognize a wins a win, but there’s still a lot of work to do. On Monday, District of Columbia District Court Judge Amit Mehta ruled against the FDA’s requirement for warning labels on premium cigars, only one requirement of the FDA’s greater Deeming Rules first introduced in 2016.
Among Judge Mehta’s opinions that vacated the warning label requirement included citing that , “FDA failed to articulate a reasoned basis for requiring warning labels for premium cigars.” Judge Mehta also added “By failing to analyze whether consumers are in fact misinformed or under informed as to premium cigar health effects, the agency has failed to offer the rational connection between facts and judgment required to pass muster under the arbitrary and capricious standard.”
Mehta also took a shot at the FDA’s failure to properly clarify their requirement as to how/why premium cigars were either regulated together with other tobacco products or that they may be subject to a unique set of regulations.
Glynn Loope of CRA was quick to weigh in on the positive news stating “Today’s decision demands a reasoned approach when addressing the regulation of premium cigars. For years, premium cigar manufacturers and retailers have been sounding the alarm that FDA’s warning label requirements were among the regulatory requirements that would devastate the premium cigar industry.”
Loope also commended Mehta for his reasoning saying “Judge Mehta’s decision drew from evidence that was built into the administrative record by historic and diligent legislative and advocacy efforts, including CRA’s comments in the rulemaking process. CRA is committed to continuing communications to Congress, the Trump Administration, and to numerous agencies within the federal government.”
In addition to the thick administrative record, support continues from both sides of the political aisle as well as the White House, so there is good reason to believe more wins are in store for the premium cigar industry. If you’d like to read Mehta’s full opinion you can view it here. – In Fumo Pax!