Cigar Caucus Co-Chairs Press FDA for Action on NASEM’s Recommendations

April 24, 2023 By Matthew Tabacco

The Premium Cigar Association commends Congressman Dan Meuser (R-PA) and Congressman Troy A. Carter, Sr. (D-LA), co-chairs of the Congressional Cigar Caucus, in their letter to FDA Administrator Dr. Robert Califf and CTP Director, Dr. Brian King. The letter calls on them to account for the agency’s lack of progress in addressing the recommendations made by the 2022 NASEM Report on premium cigars. The NASEM report highlighted that premium cigars are substantially unique and that research needed to distinguish them appropriately from other tobacco products.

Congressman Meuser expressed concern about the FDA’s lack of action on the 2022 NASEM Report on premium cigars. He stated, “The FDA has a responsibility to ensure that all regulation it promulgates is based on sound scientific evidence and meets Congress’ intent. Unfortunately, they continue to try and regulate without doing proper due diligence. These are predominantly small businesses, many of them in my district, and their supply chain deeply affect our trading partners abroad.”

Joshua Habursky, Deputy Executive Director of the Premium Cigar Association, echoed the concerns presented in the letter, “We would like to thank Representatives Dan Meuser and Troy Carter for their leadership on this issue and pressing the Center for Tobacco Products for answers on this important research. Two years ago, I presented to the National Academies of Sciences for the report referenced, and the FDA/CTP has yet to give a status update, even while they attempt to promulgate new regulations that would apply to premium cigars.

Rep. Troy Carter pointed out, “The FDA asked for NASEM to study the question of premium cigars. FDA should follow through with the recommended research that NASEM called for before attempting to enact new regulations that would affect this industry.”

The 2022 NASEM Report on premium cigars found limited evidence to support the FDA’s claims that premium cigars harm public health. The report called for further research to better understand the patterns of use and alleged health effects of premium cigars and to develop appropriate regulations based on scientific evidence.

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