USA: is the FDA going to make a U-turn?
Scott Gottlieb, who has been appointed Commissioner of the Food and Drug Agency by Donald Trump, has repeatedly expressed his opposition to new cigar legislation. Will he halt the procedures already under way?
American cigar aficionados have seen a glimmer of hope. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the new head of the FDA, is known for his relatively liberal views on the regulation of the tobacco industry, and cigars in particular.
At present, his exact plans on this issue remain unclear, but readers will remember that in 2009 he said that the FDA should not regulate the tobacco industry, which lies outside its original food and drugs remit. “I believe it’s going to gut the agency’s resources and distract it from its core mission,” he said.
Last year, the FDA extended its powers to include the premium cigar market. Speaking on the subject in 2012, Dr. Gottlieb commented, “the rising use of machine-rolled cigars by under-age smokers has long troubled the FDA, but the new regulation apparently wouldn’t clearly distinguish these cheap, small cigars from larger, premium brands smoked by adults.”
He came out in support of the “85,000 Americans (that) work in the premium-cigar business (…). Many of these jobs would be in jeopardy if the FDA’s regulations went forward,” he said, citing Florida in particular.
The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) immediately applauded Dr. Gottlieb’s appointment, making reference to his “past statements”.
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