An article by the Troutman Sanders Tobacco practice appears in the December issue of Smokeshop Magazine. The article, titled “Hey Legislators: Vaping Products Don’t Belong in the MSA!” discusses the “longshot” bid by congressmen to have e-cigarettes included in the Master Settlement Agreement (“MSA”).
The article discusses letters sent earlier this year by three Congressmen – Representatives Henry Waxman of California and Peter Welch of Vermont as well as Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa – to their respective state Attorneys General calling for the inclusion of e-cigarettes in the MSA. In their letters, they state that this addition would help curb the trend of youth use of the products due to the advertising restrictions inherent in the agreement, and that e-cigarettes meet the MSA’s definition of a “cigarette” due to their appearance, vapor production, and nicotine content.
However, the premise behind the addition of e-cigarettes to the MSA is inherently flawed. The MSA was established in response to state’s claims for monetary relief related to expenses incurred by smoking-related illnesses. E-cigarette companies were not even in operation at the time the MSA was signed, and therefore could not have participated in the conduct that lead to the agreement.
Although this particular regulation is highly unlikely, it’s another example of the inventive measures being considered by lawmakers regarding regulation of the e-cigarette market.
The full text of the article can be found here.