FDA Must Protect Health - Not Give a Free Pass to Certain Cigar Manufacturers
(March 23, 2018) - CHICAGO
Statement of American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer, in response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking on regulation of “premium” cigars:
“Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its third advance notice of proposed rulemaking, this time seeking information to inform possible FDA action on exempting certain so-called ‘premium’ cigars from its basic oversight. The American Lung Association is disappointed that FDA is once again bowing to political pressure by issuing this advance notice – having already resolved this issue in 2016. Instead, the Lung Association urges FDA to move forward with its Congressionally mandated mission of protecting the public health from all tobacco products.
“FDA itself put it best when in 2016 it stated, ‘The available evidence does not provide a basis for FDA to conclude that the patterns of premium cigar use sufficiently reduce the health risks to warrant exclusion.’ Any further delays in oversight of these products will only harm the public health.
“In 1998, the National Cancer Institute concluded, ‘There is little evidence from what is known about the tobacco content and manufacture of premium cigars to suggest that they are less hazardous than other cigars. Clearly, cigar smoke is as, or more, toxic and carcinogenic than cigarette smoke.’ The American Lung Association will again submit comments in opposition to any exemption and urge FDA to focus on protecting public health.”