Cigar Rights of America Engages in Critical Dialogue with FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products

Today, Cigar Rights of America (CRA) met with Dr. Brian King, Director of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), to discuss key issues concerning the premium cigar industry, including CTP’s five-year strategic plan and pending proposed regulation to limit nicotine in tobacco products.

During the meeting, CRA representatives emphasized our ongoing concerns regarding shortcomings in CTP’s five-year strategic plan. In particular, our apprehensions revolved around the plan’s lack of clarity in identifying key policy issues, establishing definitive regulatory priorities, addressing scientific uncertainties, and setting measurable metrics for success. Significantly, CRA is worried about the Agency’s persistent approach of treating all tobacco products uniformly, without recognizing variances in risk or scientific understanding among different product categories.

Regarding nicotine limits, CRA reiterated our concerns about proposed regulations aiming to cap nicotine levels in tobacco products. Specifically, CRA cautioned against arbitrary limits that could effectively ban premium cigars from the market if applied indiscriminately. Instead, CRA urged CTP to prioritize addressing products of greater concern, such as e-cigarettes and vape units. CRA’s Executive Director Mike Copperman recently authored an OpEd on the importance of this issue, available here.

“In reflecting on today’s meeting, Mike Copperman, Executive Director of CRA, stated, “It’s evident that CTP continues to struggle with clarity and specificity in long-term planning when it comes to their five-year strategic plan. These failures to address key policy issues and scientific uncertainties are all the more unsettling when the Agency is actively pursuing regulations which could potentially impose arbitrary and destructive nicotine limits on premium hand-rolled cigars whose regulation is unwarranted.”

Cigar Rights of America remains committed to advocating for a premium cigar exemption from regulatory overreach.