Premium Cigar Exemption Included in New House Bill

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If passed, this would only apply to cigars that are premium cigars, defined by the government as “any roll of tobacco that is wrapped in 100 percent leaf tobacco, bunched with 100 percent tobacco filler, contains no filter, tip or non-tobacco mouthpiece, weighs at least 6 pounds per 1,000 count and–Has a 100 percent leaf tobacco binder and is hand rolled; has a 100 percent leaf tobacco binder and is made using human hands to lay the leaf tobacco wrapper or binder onto only one machine that bunches, wraps and caps each individual cigar; or has a homogenized tobacco leaf binder and is made in the United States using human hands to lay the 100 percent leaf tobacco wrapper onto only one machine that bunches, wraps, and caps each individual cigar; and is not a cigarette or a little cigar (as such terms are defined in paragraphs (3) and (11), respectively, of section 900 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act).”

While currently this development doesn’t greatly impact the deeming regulations as no deadlines were affected and current deeming regulations are still in effect, it does give the industry and cigar smokers hope that a positive change is possible. This follows signals from the new administration and FDA that premium cigars are being looked at differently than they were under the Obama Administration. It’s important to note that even if it does pass, it will not solve all the problems brought on by the deeming regulations as it’s only a short-term fix and only impacts the premium cigar industry, leaving pipe tobacco and vapor to still be under the gun with regulations still in place.

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