LOL! This was my worst case interpretation of the FDA's approach to regulating pipes. I'm not sure how I feel about someone else reading it that way. What a nightmare.
It's not just about new pipes either. Today there are many who alter the material makeup of a pipe - pipe repair service people, hobbyists who refurb and sell used pipes, etc. Then there are all channels to market. Today they include tobacco retailers, a huge variety of informal sales channels eg forums like this one, artisan pipe e-commerce sites, pipe shows, etc. There is a huge estate market for used pipes. It's not at all clear what happens to any of this in the future.
Most pipe makers, repair crafts people, individuals w/o incorporation that refurb & sell pipes, etc are not tobacco makers, importers, distributors, nor retailers. So what happens to the status of pipes generally and the channels to market that exist today? Pipes, new and used, today are not a controlled commodity as tobacco is. But the FDA is saying that the components (eg pipes) are tobacco products. They might seek to restrict the sales through a licensed tobacco retailer.
I can tell you how you felt about me interpreting it that way: you made fun of my interpretive skills as an attorney and suggested I might be relying on insufficient sources bease the deeming regs didnt make my theory clear. Turns out our different interpretations were based on a fundamentally different assumption. You must have been looking at the pipe as an accessory, whereas I looked at it as a tobacco product because a pipe is completely and totally necessary as a vessel to hold the burning pipe tobacco, whereas a tamper, lighter, pouch, etc., is not. On a basic level, if a product is called "pipe tobacco" then the "pipe" is not truly separable from the "tobacco."
Also, when dealing with legislation, the legislative intent is often as important as the language. Since the intent is stated as essentially making the product safe, and we know that can't be done, then the intent must really be to protect the public by stamping out the practice. Since "pipe" and "pipe tobacco" are inseperable beasts, then they must both be in the sights and the goal must be stringent regulation of both.
And it turns out that my tobacconist was correct, which I find not entirely surprising. A policy wonk is just that, a wallah that reads up on the subject without any other knowledge but what he gleans through the papers he reads. He's not going to know about Teipens or Bang. He's going to have read about Dr. Ggrabow. The big guys who turn out thousands. Pipes with shape numbers and predetermined sizes being churned out of nice safe factories, charming to his mathematical little heart. You can trust a factory. Guys like Teipen, if he's heard of them at all, are going to be as dangerous as the dude tinkering with a vape. No standards. God knows what they're going to be doing to the health of he consumer.
And so the wonk comes up with a way to fairly deal with the factory and not the individual carver. Turn in a sample of all of your shapes and models for testing and filing. The handmade guy would, necessarily, have to turn in each individual masterpiece to prove he isn't doing anything stupid. And frazed pipes are the rule of the day.
Now for my question. Do we think this could possibly last? Every pipe, even factory pipes, are different and require much handwork in the internals. Personally, I'm expecting the tobacco part of the proposed rules to stand up to court action. Nobody has a fundamental right to bring a tobacco to market, at least not one that trumps the state's right not to poison it's citizens. But I think the stamping out of artisan pipe makers, and the crazy regulations coming on what constitutes a pipe, are unlikely to pass because they aren't narrowly tailored to the stated goal of the regs, that is, a safe product, especially since there's no definition of what an unsafe pipe would be.
Notre Dame de Paris, priez pour nous y comprise les Jesuites.