FDA Lobbies White House on Menthol Ban

Washington: CRA monitors federal policies across the tobacco regulation space as part of our efforts to protect premium cigars. This monitoring is critical to understanding the larger trends and perspectives at the FDA as they emerge and evolve. While this article on FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf’s efforts to lobby the White House regarding the long-delayed menthol ban does not directly address CRA’s regulatory concerns surrounding premium cigars, as defined by Judge Amit Mehta (see footnote 7), it is a critical example of how important it is to understand FDA’s approaches to their other regulatory efforts as analogs to inform how they are likely to engage premium cigars at the end of their current appeal-process in federal court.

As part of this strategic process, we filed a comment with the FDA on August 3, 2023, regarding their recent proposed flavored tobacco product policy. While CRA does not take a position on flavor and menthol bans generally, we do engage on such policies to advocate for premium cigars to be exempted, to avoid inadvertent overregulation, and we expect to do the same when the menthol ban is proposed in the Federal Register. While premium cigars are currently unregulated by the FDA, we must continue these efforts to insulate premium cigars from the FDA’s future efforts to re-regulate us, something they have repeatedly signaled they intend to pursue at the end of the current appeals process.

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Cody Carden

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