Failings at FDA’s Tobacco Center Highlighted by Independent Report
20 December 2022

December 20, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cody Carden
Director of Communications
cody.carden@cigarrights.org

Failings at FDA’s Tobacco Center Highlighted by Independent Report

WASHINGTON, DC – Cigar Rights of America applauds a new report from the Reagan-Udall Foundation (RUF) that suggests increasing transparency and predictability at the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP). CRA participated in the Foundation’s review process, providing comments on the need for sound science, clearer guidance to industry, and prioritization of Agency focus on higher-risk products.

The Reagan-Udall Foundation is an independent entity, created by Congress and staffed by experts, and is tasked with providing operational advice to the Agency. FDA Commissioner Robert Califf requested the review.

The report highlights several operational failings at CTP that have prevented the Agency from achieving its public health mission. Specifically, the RUF found that CTP lacked clarity about its own priorities, resulting in “extraneous work” for industry and the Agency itself and “an inefficient review process.” Recommendations to the FDA included a clearer focus on science and communication with industry to fulfill its “duty to run [the Tobacco Program] efficiently, fairly, and transparently.”

These findings come in the wake of several missteps at FDA that have been pushed back on by the courts. In July 2022, a decision from US District Court Judge Amit Mehta found that FDA’s regulation of premium cigars was not based on sound science. In his ruling, Judge Mehta cited CRA’s comments and stated that the Agency had not adequately responded to them but had instead “resorted to a common refrain to obscure this issue” by saying that FDA lacked sufficient data. The remedy in that case is still pending. 

Mike Copperman, Federal Regulatory and Legislative Director of CRA, said, “The RUF report highlights the need for more industry input, clearer science, and increased predictability from FDA. We further believe that the Agency should focus its efforts first on products that pose the highest risks to public health. We look forward to working with FDA to implement these recommendations.”

Cigar Rights of America is the first and only consumer-based public advocacy group fighting to protect the individual’s right to enjoy premium hand-rolled cigars.

Disclaimer: Some of the links to online retailers provided within Cigar Informer articles and reviews may be affiliate links. Cigar Informer participates in affiliate programs with several online retailers – the purpose of which is to help support this website and provide funds for cigar and accessory purchases for review. 

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