Bryan Haynes of the Troutman Sanders Tobacco practice was recently quoted in a Law 360 article regarding increasing stirrings of federal and state-level regulation of e-cigarettes.
The article discusses the varied regulatory measures that have been taken by state and local governments, such as New York City’s consideration of a restriction on flavored e-cigarettes. Some states already ban use of e-cigarettes in offices, while New York has prohibited their sale to minors. Canton, a town in Massachusetts, considered banning the product altogether. Rhode Island, along with a few other states, have attempted to treat e-cigarettes not as tobacco products but as “vapor products” instead.
Federal regulation of e-cigarettes is unlikely to alleviate the growing headache. After its failed attempt to regulate e-cigarettes as drug/device combination products, the FDA has indicated it will regulate the products under the Tobacco Control Act. This law does reserve some regulatory powers for state and local governments, which could allow for additional restrictions to be enacted beyond any potential federal measures.
According to Bryan Haynes, this chaos is to be expected. “I don’t think we’ll necessarily see a unified approach.” Haynes states, “I think the approaches really will be all over the map.”