Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vol. 1, No. 10: How Can the Federal Government Prevent Some Tobacco Product Manufacturers from Evading Taxes and Avoiding FDA Regulation?


How Can the Federal Government Prevent Some Tobacco Product Manufacturers from Evading Taxes and Avoiding FDA Regulation?

Anne D. Spiggle, Associate, Patton Boggs LLP
Spiggle identifies problems in tobacco regulation that have appeared in the wake of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Her concern is with tobacco manufacturers who mislabel their products in order to avoid both federal excise taxes and the requirements of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) tobacco regulation. Spiggle explains that this endangers public health and allows manufacturers to sell misbranded products at low prices.

The author specifically recommends that:
  • The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau should use its authority under the existing tax code to enforce the correct federal excise tax rate on “filtered cigars” and “pipe tobacco.”
  • FDA should immediately exercise its existing enforcement authority to regulate “filtered cigars” and “pipe tobacco” for what they are—cigarette substitutes and roll-your-own cigarette tobacco—and require these products to comply with the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
  • Congress should revise the Internal Revenue Code’s definitions of cigars and pipe tobacco in order to close the door that gives rise to the intentional mislabeling of tobacco products.

This article is available for download at http://fdli.org/pubs/policyforum/ now. All issues of FDLI's Food and Drug Policy Forum are free to FDLI members and can be purchased by non-members.

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