Cigar Business Buckles Down To Beat FDA Deadline

Many manufacturers of premium cigars are concentrating their efforts to get all new cigar products to the market before August 8. This is the deadline imposed by the Food & Drug Administration, which will begin regulating the cigar industry on the same date. Cigar producers that make the deadline will be allowed to put their new products on the market and await FDA approval over a one-to-three year grace period, in which FDA compliance and approval can take place while products are simultaneously on the market. Those who don’t make the deadline will not be entitled to the grace period and prohibited from selling their new products until they’ve fully undergone the FDA’s lengthy, costly evaluation and authorization process.

Because of this new rule, many cigarmakers are pushing new products to market before the deadline hits in order to take advantage of the FDA’s compliance period for premarket review. This means a cigar company can continue to sell its new cigars while FDA reviews the new product applications—but the cigars must be on the market soon.

“Of course there is an advantage to having your cigars on the market before the rule goes into effect,” Manuel Quesada of Quesada Cigars told Cigar Aficionado. “There are certain brands that will not be grandfathered. For new cigars, you will at least be allowed to continue marketing them for a while.”

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