Americans for Limited Government states “strong opposition” to flavored cigar ban as unnecessary, harmful to businesses and trampling on informed freedom of choice

Americans for Limited Government (ALG), in a letter to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf, has expressed its “strong opposition” to a proposed ban of flavored cigars, stating that it is “not necessary based on the government’s own studies, is not supported by scientific evidence, would harm businesses and destroy jobs, and would trample on individual freedom of choice in a way that further undermines already ebbing confidence in public health authorities.”

In backing these assertions, ALG President Richard Manning:

  • refuted FDA’s assertion that “youth consumption of cigars is substantial” by pointing out that 2020 survey data showed youth usage of under 1% and that 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey data “shows a more than 45 percent one-year decline in a single year among high-schoolers.”
  • blasted FDA for “not being content to push the pause button” to see whether recently enacted nationwide Tobacco 21 legislation, which may have contributed to the rapid decline, “will lead to further reductions in underage initiation and consumption.”
  • underscores that the evidence “indicates moderate cigar use by a small percentage of the adult population, most of whom … experience little if any risk of morbidity or mortality” and decries FDA “attempts to produce sufficient evidence of flavor-driven initiation and resulting mortality by endlessly extrapolating from outdated and flawed data based on limited evidence.”
  • Points out that “the rule will undoubtedly harm a flourishing industry” enjoying record sales “and destroy small businesses and jobs,” including small manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.
  • Underscores that public health authorities and experts are otherwise “returning to an emphasis on empowering citizens to make informed decisions about their own health after the disastrous effects of two years of similar rush-to-judgment mandates not based on sound science. Research shows that “heavy-handed, top-down COVID dictates” “hampered the economy,” “damaged the nation’s mental and physical well-being,” “devastated children,” and resulted in “plummeting” confidence in these authorities, including CDC and FDA.

Manning concludes by urging FDA to “withdraw this unnecessary, unsupported, destructive, and restrictive rule and focus instead on enforcement of age limits and empowering adult cigar consumers with the accurate information on risk they need to make educated decisions related to their own health and enjoyment of a legal product.”

The full text of ALG’s comment is below: