Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Shoulda Known...

Remember last week when I said I wrote my congresscritters about the FDA and cigars?  Well, today I got a response... the only response, so far... from Senator Tom Udall.  Here it is, in its entirety:
January 12, 2012
Dear Mr. Pennington,
Thank you for contacting me regarding S. 1461, the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act of 2011.  I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, yet every day thousands of children have their first cigarette.  Because of this and other statistics on the health risks, health costs and addictive nature of smoking, in June 2009 the Senate passed with my support S. 982, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA),  by a vote of 79-17.  The House version of this bill passed on April 2, 2009 and President Barack Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act into law on June 22, 2009.
This law gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) new authority to regulate the manufacturing, distribution, advertising, promotion, sale, and use of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and other tobacco products, subject to clarification by future guidance.  The FDA subsequently issued strict restrictions on cigarette and smokeless tobacco sale, distribution, product labeling, marketing and advertising towards minors. 
In July 2011, the FDA indicated its intent to issue a proposed rule that would deem cigars, dissolvable tobacco, and e-cigarettes subject to the FSPTCA and the FDA's jurisdiction.  The FDA has not yet issued this rule, but expects to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking this fall.  Following publication of the proposed rulemaking, the FDA plans to accept and review public comments before issuing its final rulemaking.
In response to this, on August 1, 2011, Senator Bill Nelson (FL) introduced S. 1461, to exempt traditional large and premium cigars from regulation by the FDA and from user fees assessed on tobacco products by the FDA.  Upon introduction, S. 1461 was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, where no further action has occurred.  I will be sure to keep your comments in mind should S. 1461 or any related legislation come before the Senate for a vote.
Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with me.  Please feel free to contact me with your concerns regarding any federal issue by visiting my website at  For more information, you may also visit my Facebook page at and receive up to the minute updates through my Twitter page at
Very truly yours,

Tom Udall
United States Senator
Oh, my aching ass.  Thanks, Nanny.  I'm beginning to wonder about the wisdom of my decision to become a New Mexican, as my representative and both of my senators were solid, right-thinking Republicans when I was a Texan.  Now?  They're all frickin' Democrats.  I suppose that's incentive for me to get out and vote (which I ALWAYS do) but my county is decidedly RED, as are most rural constituencies in these United States.  It doesn't help my attitude to find out that S.1461 is languishing in committee, where bills go to die.  Today ain't off to a great start.  


  1. At least you received a response... and a relatively fast one at that. Last May I wrote both of my Senators and the congressman, who's finally retiring. Finally, about three month later I got a canned response from the congressman that didn't even address the issue I approached them about, which was much, much more innocuous than yours.

  2. but its for the children... :rolleyes:

  3. But if it was medical MJ we're talking about, they'd practically pay you to sit there and smoke it.

  4. With a response like that, why not demand that if it is so horrible that kids smoke their first cigarette every day, that these idiots just ban the product all together.

    They want to regulate it for the taxes. If it were pure motives they would grow a pair of balls and make a stand and ban all tobacco. Make anything tobacco related illegal.

    Then see how quickly their tunes change.

  5. Not totally unrelated:
    I saw a blurb on the local fishwrap site this a.m. Here is further evidence of WTF

  6. Skip: I WAS amazed that Udall's response wasn't the expected boilerplate and actually addressed, however badly, my specific concern. I'll give him points for that. But you know what they say: One awshit cacnels ten attaboys. At least.

    And on your second comment, that link... the mind boggles. It truly DOES.

    Anon1: Heh.

    Inno: You need to read Skip's link.

    Anon2: Don't be givin' the asshats ideers. But you're correct: banning would never happen for the loss of revenue that's in it.

  7. Within a week! I'm floored!

    And really ticked off about the whole chicken-sh*t, nanny-state conmtent.

    w/v -- makedgy. All this nanny stuff makes me edgy.

  8. The one thing that a total ban would do would be that the bums would be out of office and their ban out on its ass.

    It is the hypocritical attitude that tobacco is so horrible because kids try the stuff, yet they don't ban it, nope, they only increase the taxes on it every chance they get because their own actions are killing the revenue they count on from the tobacco.

    I say call these turds on it every single chance you can. They want to curtail it and call it evil just so they can profit off it.

    You know they will never ban it. They don't have the guts to back up their over the top words.

    This is just nanny state crap from those who really don't give a shit if people get sick or die from tobacco, so long as they get money from the sales of it, and this just gives more excuses to tax it more.

  9. Moogie: I was kinda surprised... AND annoyed... at the response.

    Anon: Yup.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.