The Premium Cigar Association (PCA) is committed to defending premium cigars and pipe tobacco from legislative and regulatory overreach. Although the words “pipe tobacco” were removed from the Association’s name, efforts to protect this product category remain steadfast. The Association recognizes the importance of pipe tobacco in many retail tobacco shops and lounges, which is why the PCA government affairs team continues to advocate for its protection at the local, state, and federal levels of government.
What is Pipe Tobacco?
Pipe tobacco is smoked in a pipe, and:
- at least 75% of its cut tobacco is 1/16th of an inch or more in width; and
- at least 30% of its weight is pressed tobacco, flake, roll cuts, or ready rub; and
- its tobacco contains at least 5% propylene or glycerine; or
- at least 10% of its weight consists of Latakia, Perique, or black tobaccos, or combinations thereof.
What are the policy challenges facing pipe tobacco?
Flavored Tobacco Prohibitions
PCA worked with a coalition of industry allies to defeat flavored tobacco bans in Colorado, Maine, and Indiana, and is currently working with an industry alliance to defeat a flavored tobacco products ban in California. Although many similar bills have exemptions for pipe tobacco, the precedent of such legislation poses future threats to premium pipe tobacco products. PCA works to educate legislators on product differences and facilitate exemptions, all to ensure proper protection for premium pipe tobacco. It is far too easy for pipe tobacco to be swept up into attacks on non-associated product categories.
Taxation Categorization with Roll-Your-Own Tobacco/Hookah
It is important that premium pipe tobacco not get captured into any effort to raise taxes on cigarettes or other tobacco categories such as vape and e-cigarettes. PCA is working to prevent such tax burdens from being enacted on pipe tobacco.
Retailer Licensing as Manufacturers
All too often, community tobacconists are labeled ‘manufacturers’ of pipe tobacco, simply for the act of blending previously produced tobacco. PCA is working to prevent this form of regulatory burden, which can impact everything from private insurance to the very zoning of the local tobacconist.
What is PCA’s Position on Pipe Tobacco?
The Premium Cigar Association opposes any flavor prohibitions that would restrict the sale and blending of pipe tobacco. The PCA also opposes any efforts to tax pipe tobacco or coordinate accessories at higher rates. The Association is committed to differentiating pipe tobacco from other tobacco product categories and showcasing the importance of this distinct product for the retail business of brick-and-mortar tobacconists.
PCA Advocates for Pipe Tobacco: Recent Activity & Victories
- The Premium Cigar Association successfully fought a 1,600% federal tax increase on pipe tobacco in the Build Back Better legislation in the United States Congress.
- The Premium Cigar Association filed a public comment with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration advocating for the exemption of pipe tobacco from the characterizing flavored product standard for flavored cigars.
- The Premium Cigar Association called for exemptions from flavored tobacco bans for premium pipe tobacco in Colorado, Maine, and Indiana.
Additional Resources and Information on Pipe Tobacco
FDA Overview for Pipe Tobacco
Importing and Exporting from the FDA
“The United States District Court for the District of Columbia recently issued an order vacating the health warning requirements for cigars and pipe tobacco set forth in 21 CFR §§ 1143.3 and 1143.5 and remanding the Final Deeming Rule’s warning requirements for cigars and pipe tobacco back to the Agency.” https://www.fda.gov/tobacco-products/labeling-and-warning-statements-tobacco-products/covered-tobacco-products-and-roll-your-own-cigarette-tobacco-labeling-and-warning-statement
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For more information or questions, contact PCA’s Deputy Executive Director and Head of Government Affairs, Joshua Habursky, at email@example.com.