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Quarles: Proposed FDA rule would effectively ban smokeless tobacco

Quarles opposes proposed rule as ‘devastating’ to Kentucky dark tobacco industry

FRANKFORT (March 22, 2017)—Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced that the comment period for a proposed federal regulation on smokeless tobacco products has been extended from April 10 to July 10.

“This proposed rule would have a devastating economic impact on dark tobacco growers and businesses in Kentucky,” Commissioner Quarles said. “If enacted, it would have the effect of banning the sale of smokeless tobacco in the United States. I urge anyone who has an interest to send your comments to Washington and let your voice be heard.”

In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price sent earlier this month, Commissioner Quarles asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to withdraw the proposal. Quarles said that the FDA did not accurately estimate the economic impact of the proposed rule and did not propose a standard that was “technically achievable” as required by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The proposal would limit the N-Nitrosonornicotine level in finished smokeless tobacco products to one part per million.

Quarles suggested that stakeholders be brought together to create a new standard that is realistic and achievable and would not create a devastating economic impact.

Kentucky led the nation in production of dark fire-cured and dark air-cured tobacco in 2015 at 31.7 million pounds and 13.75 million pounds, respectively.

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