Altria’s response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on premium cigars has sparked much debate and response, most being very negative toward America’s biggest tobacco company and its associated cigar brands like John Middleton and Nat Sherman [read more here]. With other manufacturers, retailers, media and consumers all weighing in with their thoughts and interpretations of Altria’s ANPRM, we now have a response from one of the cigar industry’s largest trade associations, the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR).
In a press release, the IPCPR had the following to say about Altria’s ANPRM comment on premium cigars:
“IPCPR is aware of comments recently submitted by Altria Group, Inc. regarding premium cigar regulations, as well as the subsequent concerns raised about these comments. IPCPR has long been and remains a staunch advocate for premium cigar exemption from FDA regulation. Additionally, we have worked diligently with industry partners, including Altria and Nat Sherman, both on and off Capitol Hill to advocate for this position.
“While the association differs with Altria’s official position on premium cigar exemption, we are heartened by the company’s statement that “Premium Cigars Are Different”, and further, their subsequent comments that premium cigars are a unique tobacco product category harmed by current FDA regulations. This includes their opposition to the unwarranted pre-market pathway and untenable testing framework under the Deeming Rule. Moreover, Altria has publicly supported current legislative language sponsored by Congressman Cole (R-OK) that includes a premium cigar exemption. We will continue to work with our partners in industry in support of favorable outcomes for premium cigars and pipe tobacco.”
Similar to what Tobacco Business reported days ago, the IPCPR is urging its members and other interested parties to read the full Altria comment. While it is easy to leap to conclusions from headlines and opinion pieces and interpretations, reading through Altria’s ANPRM comments is the only way to come to your own informed opinion. You can read Altria’s ANPRM comment by clicking here, the IPCPR’s ANPRM by clicking here and Nat Sherman’s response to the Altria discussion by clicking here.
For all the latest news from the IPCPR, visit ipcpr.org.