On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld a jury’s award of $10 million in punitive damages in a wrongful-death case against Philip Morris USA Inc. (“PM USA”), rejecting the tobacco company’s argument that such relief was precluded by the 1998 master settlement agreement between the Massachusetts Attorney General, PM USA, and other attorneys general and tobacco manufacturers.[1]

Continue Reading Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Affirms Punitive Damages Award Against Philip Morris USA Inc. In Spite of Master Settlement Agreement Release

Bryan Haynes of the Troutman Pepper Tobacco Team was recently interviewed for CSP’s Tobacco Regulatory Update.  The article discusses six regulatory issues at the federal, state and local levels that could impact tobacco retailers:

  • The impact of the Biden administration on tobacco laws and regulations
  • FDA’s progress in reviewing requests for marketing authorization for new tobacco products
  • The potential that tobacco retailers may be required to post in their stores “corrective statements” regarding the consequences of smoking
  • The ongoing litigation regarding FDA’s new graphic health warnings for cigarettes.
  • Potential flavor bans.
  • Potential excise tax increases.

Continue Reading Troutman Pepper Tobacco Team Interviewed for CSP Tobacco Regulatory Update

We previously wrote about a hemp industry case against the Texas Department of State Health Services, challenging the state legislature’s smokable hemp ban and the Department’s implementing regulations. Plaintiffs, Texas hemp producers and retailers, argued that H.B. 1325, which banned the in-state manufacture of smokable hemp, but not the possession, consumption, or importation of smokable hemp from other states, was unconstitutional because it was not rationally related to any legitimate government interest (smokable hemp could still be sold and consumed in the state, just not produced by Texas hemp businesses). Continue Reading Hemp Industry Victory in Texas: Court Finds Smokable Hemp Ban Unconstitutional

California’s cigarette tax and escrow requirements apply to inter-tribal sales of cigarettes, held the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Big Sandy Rancheria Enterprises v. Bonta. Big Sandy Rancheria Enterprises (“BSRE”), a federally-chartered corporation wholly-owned by the Big Sandy Rancheria Band of Western Mono Indians, brought the case to challenge California’s application of its tobacco directory, licensing, and tax laws to BSRE’s sales of native-manufactured cigarettes to other Indian tribes. Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Holds That Inter-Tribal Cigarette Sales Are Subject to State Tobacco Laws

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan recently announced that his office settled violations of the state’s delivery sale law with three online electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) sellers. Since December 2020 and including these most recent settlements, the state has collected $472,500 from 13 companies for such violations, signaling the state’s growing desire to enforce this law against online ENDS sellers.

Continue Reading Vermont Settles with Online Retailers for Violations of Delivery Sale and Consumer Protection Laws

On Friday, July 23, 2021, the attached bill was introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. In the Senate it was introduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), along with Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Mitt Romney (R-UT).  The House companion bill was introduced by Rep. Cheri Bustos.

The bill authorizes FDA to collect user fees from all manufacturers of products that have been deemed as tobacco products by FDA, including e-cigarettes.  It is forecast to increase the total amount collected in tobacco user fees by $100 million in fiscal year 2022 and indexes that amount to inflation for future years.  The bill would not affect federal excise taxes on tobacco products.

We previously blogged about two cases challenging the constitutionality of FDA’s “Deeming Rule,” the authority by which FDA extended its regulation of tobacco products to electronic nicotine delivery systems (“ENDS”).

Both of these cases, Big Time Vapes, Inc. v. FDA and Moose Jooce v. FDA recently hit a dead end when the Supreme Court denied both plaintiffs’ petitions for review. Continue Reading Supreme Court Won’t Hear Latest ENDS Industry Challenges to FDA Regulation

Smokable hemp is one of the fastest growing submarkets of the hemp industry, but hemp growers and manufacturers in Texas may not be able to take advantage. A pair of cases in Texas district and appellate courts are trying to make sure that’s not the case. Continue Reading Texas Courts Hear Oral Arguments Regarding State’s Smokable Hemp Ban

Troutman Pepper Strategies (TPS), a full-service government affairs and issue management arm of Troutman Pepper, regularly communicates with members of Congress and staff, including relevant committee staff, regarding the status of tobacco-related legislation and policy. These relationships include and extend beyond the congressional committees with tobacco jurisdiction, such as the House Energy & Commerce Committee and the Senate HELP Committee. Additionally, TPS communicates with agency officials, including the Food and Drug Administration and the White House, about tobacco-related regulations and policy. Continue Reading Tobacco in the 117th Congress