Movement afoot to help keep kratom legal to help the many that need it #TAKEACTION

As many of you know, nine noted scientists have started working with the American Kratom Association (AKA) and have authored a letter to President Trump’s White House Opioid Crisis Team Leader Kellyanne Conway and Acting DEA Administrator Robert W. Patterson.
In their letter, the scientists called out the FDA directly for their use of “bad science” when determining the safety profile of kratom.
And that’s why you and I must demand they disregard the FDA’s latest disinformation campaign against kratom.
There are organizations across the United States and within the Federal Government working day and night to criminalize kratom.
They don’t care about the truth, the science, or the disastrous impacts banning kratom would have on millions of Americans.
Below is the text of the petition being sent to President Trump and Ms. Conway:
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PETITION TO PRESIDENT TRUMP AND KELLYANNE CONWAY
We the undersigned ask for your immediate action to protect the freedom of consumers to make their own health care decisions and stop the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from their broad regulatory overreach and the criminalization of millions of Americans who use kratom.
Kratom is a safe herbal supplement that is used by Americans to manage their health and well-being. Many have found kratom to be an effective alternative pain management therapy to dangerously addictive and deadly opioids. Leading scientists have concluded that banning kratom will create an unsafe kratom black market, and force kratom users who manage acute or chronic pain to deadly opioids and will lead to increased opioid deaths in America.
Mr. President, we ask that you direct the FDA and the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) to research how kratom can best be used as both an alternative pain management therapy, and as a potential step-down from opioid addiction; and direct the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to return the proposed scheduling recommendation for kratom to the FDA and NIDA for those additional studies — and leave those Americans who use kratom for their personal health and well-being alone!
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Once you sign this petition, please forward this post to friends, family and even neighbors. Even if they are not a kratom consumer, please try to get their help in supporting this petition.
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Cigar Advisor Weighs in on the Newest FDA Cigar Regulations

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Cigar Advisor, the nation’s premiere online cigar magazine, proudly serves cigar enthusiasts with a uniquely down-to-earth perspective on the enjoyment of premium cigars. The magazine has just published a review of the newly-deemed FDA rule that extends the agency’s intent to regulate more tobacco products — including premium cigars — under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA). Titled “FDA Cigar Regulation: Effects of the 2016 Deeming Rule,” Managing Editor John Pullo addresses the impact this new authority granted to the FDA will have on the premium cigar market, and the market uncertainties it has created.

“There are a number of ‘untolds’ in the document. These are the numbers, processes, costs and more that the Agency hasn’t defined yet… perhaps, because it can’t. That’s why we wanted to address these regulations — they’re important for cigar enthusiasts to understand,” says Cigar Advisor Managing Editor John Pullo. “They have the very real potential to negatively impact the consumer — and in more ways than just the choice of premium cigars available for sale.” He’s compiled an analysis of the stricter FDA regulations that affect the production, marketing and sales of tobacco products that were announced this month, titledFDA Cigar Regulation: Effects of the 2016 Deeming Rule. Released as a 499-page document on May 5, John examines four of the most prominent issues created by the FDA decision for stronger regulation.

John notes one particular concern immediately: “The damage that is likely to be done to the manufacture and marketing of premium cigars by this decision is sweepingly broad, but done in a way that’s extremely vague. That is worrisome.” He specifically points to the newly-ordered “substantial equivalence” verification process for premium cigars that entered the market after 2007, and how “there is a lot of gray area here.” Pullo argues that cigar manufactures are placed in an immediate disadvantage by the agency, as the inner workings of the tests that FDA plans to run on the products at hand are “unclear, have no benchmarks established, and the costs — and how they’re figured — are seemingly guesses, at best.” He also believes that this ruling places the legalization of Cuban cigars in America in limbo.

The Cigar Advisor analysis discusses the banning of cigar sampling, age verification for the purchase of cigars, and the steps that retailers have already taken to be in compliance with existing age restrictions for the purchase of tobacco products by those under the age of 18. “These laws already exist,” he says.

FDA Defies Congressional Intent…Subjects Premium Cigars To Federal Regulation

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products released their 499 page final rule that would deem additional tobacco products subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (“Tobacco Control Act”).  Under today’s release, premium cigars have been deemed and will be subjected to the “option 1” regulatory framework, which in some respects treats premium cigars in harsher terms than that of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Since the original filing of the proposed rule on April 25, 2014, and the closing of the comment period on August 08, 2014, Cigar Rights of America (CRA) and hundreds of thousands of cigar aficionados across Ameria have been actively advocating on multiple fronts within the Obama Administration that premium cigars should not be included in any form of a final rule.  Unfortunately, the FDA and the Obama Administration have rejected and cast aside any rationally objective approach to developing this regulation.
When Congress gave FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products in 2009, they did so specifically with the stipulation that in order to subject a product to regulation FDA must demonstrate that the specific product(s) possess issues of underage consumption and health and mortality impact through addiction, both which have never been associated with premium cigars. Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee stated during the debate on the Fiscal Year 2017 Agriculture Appropriations bill that, “premium cigars were never intended to be in the original Tobacco Control Act.”
Congressional intent can also be seen through lens of legislation, where beginning in the 112th Congress through today, 289 different members of the House of Representatives and 26 members of the Senate have co-sponsored legislation that would exempt premium cigars from FDA regulation.
J. Glynn Loope, Executive Director of CRA, stated in reaction to today’s release that, “the inclusion of premium cigars in the final rule by FDA is yet another clear indicator that the agency never intended on complying with the Congressional mandate in the 2009 Act, and that the agency is clearly overstepping its authority in its zealous pursuit of unjustified regulations.”
Loope went on to further say, “Due to today’s actions by FDA, Cigar Rights of America will continue concentrating its efforts on the pursuit of the legislative exemption adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, and CRA is calling on Congress to act this year to protect the premium cigar retail community, the availability of legal products to America’s adult consumers, and to address the political and economic threat that this regulation passes throughout Latin America.”

Obama admin does something right, some proposed FDA restrictions are dropped

Yesterday, June 24, 2014, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have lowered the health risk rhetoric and proposed rules for e-cigarettes and cigars. The OMB announced it is deleting language from the FDA’s proposed regulations they made in April, however no final rules have been implemented as the FDA will not complete its public comment period until August 8, 2014.

The OMB rule change would still restrict vending machine sales, however leaves open the ability to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, online. Another change would put cigars into two classifications, one for premium cigars and another for all the others. The OMB also deleted the FDA’s claim as to how many lives would be saved by their regulation of the cigar industry. Also deleted was an analysis was how American’s health would improved due to their slapping a warning label on the cigars.

Read the rest of the story here.

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FDA on e-cigs: We don't know if they are bad for you but we're going to regulate

Today, April 24, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will begin the regulation of electronic cigarettes even though the federal agency admits its does not know if electronic cigarettes are bad for consumers. E-cigarettes have become wildly popular in America, which has prompted the agency to study the battery-powered device further. The new regulation will add another layer of red tape for manufacturers as they will need to submit the ingredients in their e-cigarettes to the FDA and obtain approval before the liquid can be sold to consumers. While manufacturers are seeking FDA approval, their products can remain on the market for sale. The federal regulations would also mimic what the Florida legislature is likely to put into law, which would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to those under 18.

Read the rest of the story here.

FDA on e-cigs: We don’t know if they are bad for you but we’re going to regulate

Today, April 24, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will begin the regulation of electronic cigarettes even though the federal agency admits its does not know if electronic cigarettes are bad for consumers. E-cigarettes have become wildly popular in America, which has prompted the agency to study the battery-powered device further. The new regulation will add another layer of red tape for manufacturers as they will need to submit the ingredients in their e-cigarettes to the FDA and obtain approval before the liquid can be sold to consumers. While manufacturers are seeking FDA approval, their products can remain on the market for sale. The federal regulations would also mimic what the Florida legislature is likely to put into law, which would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to those under 18.

Read the rest of the story here.