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IPCPR Statement on ALTRIA


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.

IPCPR urges its member retailers to review the full Altria comment, Nat Sherman’s response, as well as IPCPR’s comments. The association remains an ardent supporter of premium cigar exemption, and will continue to be the leading advocate for this outcome in Washington, DC.

Daniel Trope