In 2013, the Texas legislature introduced and approved House Bill 3525, which imposed a 55-cent-per-pack fee on cigarettes manufactured by companies that did not participate in the Texas tobacco Settlement Agreement. The Texas Small Tobacco Coalition and Global Tobacco, Inc. filed a lawsuit challenging the fee against the Texas Attorney General and Comptroller. [Read more →]
August 20, 2014
The saga of plaintiff Timothy Sheridan, named inventor of U.S. Patent No. 7,415,982 for a “Smokeless Pipe,” continues. In the latest chapter, Sheridan filed a pro se complaint for patent infringement against the United States government in the Court of Federal Claims on August 4, 2014, alleging that the government somehow prevented Sheridan from enforcing the ‘982 patent. Underlying that allegation is Sheridan’s contention that all currently marketed e-cigarettes and vaporizers infringe the ‘982 patent. [Read more →]
August 18, 2014
The Food and Drug Administration’s (“FDA”) proposed deeming regulations raise concerns for cigar manufacturers with product labels that include descriptors such as “light,” “mild,” “medium” or “low.” In 2009, the Tobacco Control Act banned these descriptors for cigarettes. The stated rationale for the ban was the assertion that many consumers believed that descriptors such as “light” or “mild” meant that certain cigarettes were less harmful than other cigarettes. [Read more →]
August 14, 2014
On August 4, 2014, thirteen Members of Congress signed a letter calling on the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) to expand the regulations on e-cigarettes to include more stringent rules regarding alleged youth exposure to the products. The signatories state: “While FDA’s proposed rule sets the stage for future regulations, strong regulatory actions on marketing to children, e-cigarette flavors, and online sales cannot wait. FDA has an existing mechanism to protect children now—without waiting years to implement new regulations to accomplish these goals.” [Read more →]
August 12, 2014
On August 8, 2014, a group of Attorneys General from 29 states submitted comments in response to the Food and Drug Administration’s (“FDA”) Notice of Proposed Rule deeming certain tobacco products subject to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. In their letter, the group of Attorneys General stated that “[w]hile the Proposed Rule addresses some of our concerns, it fails to address matters of particular concern, such as characterizing flavors, the marketing of e-cigarettes, and the sale of tobacco products over the Internet.” As a result, the group of Attorneys General advocates, among other things, that the FDA should do the following: [Read more →]
August 12, 2014
Mark your calendars! In May 2015, the Tobacco Merchants Association will celebrate 100 years of working with the tobacco industry, providing “expertise and networking for success.” This is one conference you won’t want to miss! [Read more →]
August 6, 2014
Troutman Sanders tobacco team partner Bryan Haynes was quoted in a July 22nd New York television station WETM18 report titled “Sen. Schumer and FDA on E-Cigarettes.” The report deals with Senator Schumer’s call for child proof caps and warning labels for e-cigarettes, as well other proposals to regulate these products. [Read more →]
August 6, 2014
The Senate Finance Committee this week held a hearing entitled Tobacco: Taxes Owed, Avoided, and Evaded. The purpose of the meeting was to address alleged tax evasion in three principal areas: (1) evading higher cigar taxes by increasing the weight of products to qualify for the lower rate imposed on large cigars; (2) evading higher roll-your-own tobacco taxes by marketing cigarette tobacco as pipe tobacco, and (3) trafficking in contraband tobacco products, such as counterfeit or illegally manufactured products. The head of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, John Manfreda, as well as industry representatives and tobacco control advocates, testified. [Read more →]
August 2, 2014
On July 21, 2014, Judge Richard Leon of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) was barred from considering a 2011 report that recommended the removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace (the “Menthol Report”), because the advisory committee that prepared the report was tainted by conflicts of interest. [Read more →]
July 27, 2014
Takeaways from the 82nd Annual International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association Trade Show
Earlier this week, the Troutman Sanders tobacco team attended the 82nd International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association trade show (“IPCPR”) in Las Vegas, Nevada. We were fortunate that Smokeshop Magazine generously agreed to share their booth with us – thanks again! We enjoyed visiting with all of our clients and friends at the show.
In light of the newly-released draft regulations for cigars, pipe tobacco and other tobacco products, many manufacturers are taking steps and planning for the future. All companies should take the time to consider the potential impact of the proposed FDA regulations on their businesses. We encourage you to contact us with your questions – in addition to collectively having decades of experience in the industry, we have been advising clients specifically regarding FDA tobacco requirements since before the enactment of the Tobacco Control Act in 2009.
We hope it was a productive trade show for all involved. We are looking forward to seeing you all at next year’s show in New Orleans.
July 24, 2014