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Agustin is sought after by clients for his strategic counsel on their most challenging competitive and regulatory compliance issues, including tobacco Master Settlement Agreement issues, federal and state enforcement investigations, licensing and excise tax issues, developing compliance programs, and evaluating advertising and marketing practices. A partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group as well as its Tobacco and Cannabis law practices, he represents manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and suppliers in all aspects of their businesses, including regulatory compliance, FDA requirements, administrative disputes involving federal or state governmental entities, mergers and acquisitions, commercial agreements, and taxation matters.

On August 22, 2023, the Troutman Pepper Tobacco + Nicotine Team attended the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (“CTP”) virtual listening session on the development of CTP’s strategic plan.  We previously blogged about CTP’s intent to issue a finalized five-year strategic plan by December 2023, including the agency’s five proposed strategic goals. Continue Reading Takeaways from Listening Session on the Development of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products Strategic Plan

Oregon has enacted a new “equity assessment” upon non-signatories to the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA).  We previously blogged about the bill’s introduction. The law replaces Oregon’s escrow deposit system, applicable to tobacco product manufacturers that are nonparticipating manufacturers (NPMs) under the MSA, with an equity assessment.Continue Reading Oregon Imposes New “Equity Assessment” on Certain Manufacturers

The Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (“CTP”) will hold a two-day public meeting on the agency’s premarket tobacco product application (“PMTA”) process. The meeting will be held October 23-24 and can be attended in person in Silver Spring, Maryland, or online.

CTP’s press release indicates that staff from the Office of Science

Yesterday, August 9, 2023, Judge Amit P. Mehta of the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued his decision vacating the decision of the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) to “deem” premium cigars covered by FDA’s 2016 rule that swept all tobacco products under the same set of regulations.  In previous decisions, the District Court already had vacated the portions of the Deeming Rule that required premium cigars to display health warnings on packaging and advertising and to engage in the burdensome premarket authorization process.  Continue Reading U.S. District Court Vacates FDA Deeming Rule With Respect To Premium Cigars

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

Agustin Rodriguez and Nicholas Ramos of the Troutman Pepper Tobacco Team will be attending the 2023 Federation of Tax Administration (FTA) Tobacco Section Annual Conference. This in-person event will be held in Tucson, Arizona from August 20-23, 2023, and presents a great opportunity for government and industry members to collaborate on issues related to regulatory

FDA recently announced the issuance of warnings letters to 189 retailers found to be selling unauthorized tobacco products, specifically Elf Bars and Esco Bars.

As a result of the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA), new tobacco products may only be sold in the U.S. if they have received marketing authorization from FDA. Products with pending premarket applications are currently subject to FDA’s enforcement discretion. According to FDA, Elf Bars and Esco Bars have neither received marketing authorization, nor have applications pending with the agency, and therefore cannot be lawfully sold.Continue Reading FDA Warns 189 Retailers of Elf Bar and Esco Bar Vapes Regarding Unauthorized Sales

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]

This suit, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Bonta, seeks declaratory relief in the Superior Court of California, County of Fresno, that California’s attorney general misinterpreted and misapplied the state’s ban on flavored tobacco products, and incorrectly concluded that R.J. Reynolds’ new products violate this ban.Continue Reading What RJ Reynolds’ Calif. Suit Means for Tobacco Regulation

This is the fifth post in our multipart series evaluating the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) response to the Reagan-Udall Foundation report (the Report) on the operations of the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP). If you missed our prior posts on the Report and FDA’s response, check them out at the links below:

In this segment of our series evaluating FDA’s response to the Report, we review a subset of the Report’s recommendations and responses from two CTP Task Forces — “Public Education Campaigns” and “Resources.”Continue Reading Inside FDA’s Response to Reagan-Udall Foundation Report: Spotlight on the Public Education Campaigns and Resources Task Forces