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PCA Submits Recommendations to OIRA

March 10, 2023 By Matthew Tabacco

The Premium Cigar Association submitted a comment to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in response to their solicitation of feedback on “Broadening Public Engagement in the Federal Regulatory Process”.

The association made several recommendations related to the public comment process, stakeholder outreach, and coordination to solicit other agencies’ expertise during the regulatory process. PCA also emphasized the importance of trade associations and outreach to small businesses as vital to informing the regulatory process especially on economically and internationally significant rules.

Included in the submission were several examples of past experiences and concerns with the Food & Drug Administration and the Center for Tobacco Products. PCA was able to specifically highlight that “the FDA Center for Tobacco Products has yet to produce a small minority owned business impact assessment for its NPRM “Tobacco Product Standard for Characterizing Flavors in Cigars” despite openly acknowledging that the purpose of the new rule was to limit access to tobacco products favored in minority communities. The FDA has also failed to even acknowledge any impact the proposed rule would have on potentially tens if not hundreds of thousands of jobs in agricultural zones throughout Central America, and the corresponding effect that would have on irregular migration, economic and political stability of those regions.”

“Our message to the FDA-CTP is loud and clear…stop seeking more authority and bigger budgets when you have yet to successfully manage current expectations. The agency is in need of more oversight, parameters, and transparency which is hopefully something both the Administration and Congress will consider,” says Scott Pearce, PCA Executive Director.

“Recently, the Reagan Udall Foundation’s independent panel made several criticisms with regard to how the Center for Tobacco Products conducts their stakeholder input, communications, and overall regulatory process. This opportunity to engage with the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs was yet another opportunity to shed light on their history of mismanagement,” says Joshua Habursky, Deputy Executive Director/Head of Government Affairs.

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