Smoker Friendly Fed

Tobacco enthusiasts may soon find a friend on the federal level. Dr. Scott Gottlieb has been nominated to lead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Last year, the agency announced sweeping tobacco regulations that have threatened to cripple the hand-rolled cigar industry.

Gottlieb — a physician and former deputy FDA commissioner — has publicly advocated for leniency in regard to tobacco regulation. Though it’s unclear what Gottlieb’s official stance on tobacco regulation might be if he is confirmed, industry leaders see his possible leadership as a potential win.

“We look forward to working with the new Administration in hopes of creating a set of fair regulations for the cigar industry,” said Craig Williamson, president of the Cigar Association of America.

Daniel Trope, director of federal and government affairs for IPCPR, agrees.

“His past statements and articles show he recognizes the difference between premium cigars and other cigar products. We’re looking forward to having a productive dialogue with him.”

Gottlieb’s confirmation now hinges on Senate approval.

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