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

We recently reported that several state legislatures are considering bills to establish vapor product directories this year — namely Florida, Indiana, Missouri, and Virginia. Throughout January and early February, similar bills have been introduced in Arizona, Hawaii, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. Additionally, a bill in Oklahoma would update the state’s existing directory framework to be consistent with the proposals of these recent bills. The directories would allow states to prohibit the sale of vapor products that are not authorized by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) or subject to a pending premarket application. Like the proposals discussed in our previous coverage, these bills are intended to reduce the proliferation of illicit vapor products.Continue Reading More States Consider Establishing Vapor Product Directories

In early January, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, sitting en banc in Wages & White Lion Investments, L.L.C. v. U.S. Food & Drug Administration, held that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) marketing denial order (MDO) of petitioner’s premarket tobacco applications (PMTAs) violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

Continue Reading En Banc Fifth Circuit Solidifies Circuit Split on Flavored ENDS Product MDOs

This year, several state legislatures will consider bills to establish vapor product directories. Amid heightened scrutiny of illicit vapor products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), these product directory bills would create a mechanism for states to bar the sale of products that are not FDA-authorized or subject to a pending premarket application. Like state cigarette directories implemented in connection with the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, these directories would specify which vapor products are permitted to be sold in the state.Continue Reading Multiple States Consider Establishing Vapor Product Directories

We recently discussed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products’ (CTP) strategic plan intended to guide CTP’s activity for the next five years. On the same day, CTP released its annual regulation and policy guidance agenda, which “outlines rules and guidance documents that are in development or planned for development.” Below, we discuss CTP’s current priorities for new regulations. CTP’s policy agenda is important because it identifies the areas CTP views as most in need of regulation or guidance, and the key actions it plans to take in those areas.Continue Reading FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products Releases Annual Regulatory Agenda

In December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warning letters to online retailers for reportedly selling unauthorized e-cigarette products. Consistent with the Center for Tobacco Products’ (CTP) recent focus, the letters target unauthorized products, which FDA states are particularly appealing to youth — including Lost Mary, Funky Republic/Funky Lands, and Elf Bar/EB Design. These warning letters follow FDA’s recent issuance of civil money penalty complaints against 25 brick-and-mortar retailers for failing to comply with prior warning letters. Those civil money penalty complaints, which we previously discussed here, continued the agency’s approach of seeking the maximum penalty approved by law.

Continue Reading FDA Maintains Heightened Enforcement Against Sellers of Illegal E-Cigarettes

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

In September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued two new rounds of warning letters to online retailers, manufacturers, and distributors for reportedly selling or distributing unauthorized e-cigarette products. Notably, FDA’s most recent letters target several popular disposable flavored products, including Elf Bar, EB Design, Lava, Cali, Bang, and Kangertech, which FDA states are particularly appealing to youth. FDA also sought civil money penalties against 22 retailers for failing to comply with prior warning letters and, for the first time, sought the maximum penalty allowed by law.

Continue Reading FDA Ramps Up Enforcement Against Flavored Disposable E-Cigarettes as External Pressures Mount

Our team has previously written about the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) response to the Reagan-Udall Foundation report on the Center for Tobacco Product’s operations. If you missed our prior posts, check them out at the links below:Continue Reading FDA Touts “Significant Strides” in Addressing Reagan-Udall Report but Acknowledges More Work Remains

Published in Law360 on June 27, 2023. © Copyright 2023, Portfolio Media, Inc., publisher of Law360. Reprinted here with permission.

On May 11, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Inc. went on the offensive to keep its new line of nonmenthol cigarettes marketed with language like “crisp,” “smooth” and “mellow” on store shelves in California.[1]Continue Reading What RJ Reynolds’ Calif. Suit Means for Tobacco Regulation