We have previously reported on the proliferation of tobacco product flavor bans imposed by localities and subsequent legal challenges throughout the U.S. See Oregon Court Upholds Local Tobacco Product Flavor Ban; Troutman Pepper Tobacco Team Featured in Vapor Voice Post on Ninth Circuit’s Holding that L.A. County’s Flavor Ban Is Not Preempted; Philadelphia

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) recently upheld, in a unanimous decision, the town of Brookline’s ordinance banning the sale of tobacco and e-cigarette products to anyone born after Jan. 1, 2000 (the Tobacco Sales Ban). Brookline is the first U.S. locality to impose a tobacco sales ban based on a specific date.Continue Reading Massachusetts High Court Upholds Local Tobacco Sales Ban

Over the past decade, at least five states and hundreds of localities have passed, or attempted to pass, laws banning flavored tobacco products. To date, litigants have brought many challenges to these laws, often arguing that such bans are preempted under the federal Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA). This argument, however, has largely proven unsuccessful — a trend that continued in January when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company’s challenge to California’s ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products.Continue Reading US Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to California’s Flavor Ban

Since 1967, the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has provided the public with the right to access records or information from any federal agency, except those records protected under legal exemptions. Each state has implemented its own public records laws, with differences regarding how such records are retained and who they can be shared with, as well as nuances among state guidelines for response times, exemptions, fees, and which branches of government are included.

Continue Reading Virginia Appeals Court to Rule on Attorney-Only Public Records Access Limit

Recently, NJOY LLC filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against more than 30 foreign and domestic defendants that manufacture, market, distribute, and sell tobacco products in an (indirect) effort to force them to comply with federal and state laws. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company (collectively, RJR) also recently filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) against more than 25 foreign and domestic manufacturers, distributors, and retailers (collectively, the respondents) that seeks to prevent the import and resale of certain tobacco products. These lawsuits serve as two examples of how industry is trying to take independent legal action to target allegedly noncompliant actors and force them to comply with applicable law.

Continue Reading ENDS Companies Take Legal Action Against Allegedly Noncompliant Competitors

As we previously reported, most states authorize direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipments of wine if the shipper has obtained the correct license, but this area of law has continued to evolve through litigation. Recently, the Virginia Court of Appeals decided a case involving whether an out-of-state online wine retailer (the retailer) was required to maintain multiple licenses for multiple out-of-state locations. This case should be of interest to any multistate wineries, breweries, or retailers selling and shipping wine or beer to consumers.

Continue Reading “Places of Business” Matter in the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Act

In a January 10 ruling, U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis sided with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), finding that they may continue in their fight to show that the South Carolina state court system’s restriction on automated “scraping” of eviction-related case information violates their First Amendment right to access and record public court records. “Scraping,” an automated data collection technique, is currently prohibited by the terms of use of the state Public Index, and attorneys who violate these terms can face disciplinary action. South Carolina Court Administration also uses technical means to prevent scraping. The NAACP has argued there is no reason for the outright ban, and other court systems allow the practice without any adverse consequences.Continue Reading South Carolina Judge Rules NAACP Public Records Scraping Case May Proceed

In a prior update, we discussed the ongoing legal challenges to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) March 2020 rule on a graphic-warning requirement for cigarettes. Initially slated to take effect June 18, 2021, the rule would require 11 new textual, health warning statements accompanied by color, “photorealistic” images displayed on the top

In determining whether the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution prohibits a state’s taxation of a remote seller, the U.S. Supreme Court for decades has upheld a tax if (1) there is a substantial nexus between the taxing state and the taxpayer; (2) the tax is fairly apportioned; (3) the tax does not discriminate against