HomeWashington Letter2017 ▶ ATS Joins Letter Opposing Cigar Exemption
ATS Joins Letter Opposing Cigar Exemption

March 2017

Last week, the ATS joined a letter with over 40 medical and public health organizations opposing legislation to exempt "premium cigars" from FDA regulation.  The legislation, introduced in the Senate by Sen. Nelson (D-FL) and in the House by Rep. Posey (R-FL-8th), would exempt "premium cigars" from any FDA regulations, including warning labels, disclosure of ingredients, limits on candy-flavored products, or advertising limits on "premium cigars." 

The bill would specifically exempt some machine-made cigars, including those which can cost as little as $1.00 from FDA oversight. It also could allow some flavored cigars to qualify for an exemption. Inexpensive and flavored cigars such as "sticky-sweet," watermelon, "wild rush," "tropical," and chocolate are exactly the type of cigars attractive to young people.

Cigar use is an important health issue.  The 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows that more high school boys now smoke cigars (i.e., large cigars, cigarillos, and small cigars) than cigarettes.  Fourteen percent of high school boys smoke cigars and 11.8 percent smoke cigarettes. Each day, more than 2,100 kids under 18 years old try cigar smoking for the first time, based on 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health data.

Last Reviewed: October 2017