As many in the tobacco industry know, there is a growing trend among state and local governments to prohibit or restrict the sale of flavored tobacco or nicotine products. Some governments are focusing on narrow subsets of flavored tobacco or nicotine products, like vapor products or electronic cigarettes, while others are intent on a broader prohibition or restriction that might include more traditional products like cigarettes, cigars, or smokeless tobacco. At the state level, Attorneys General have been at the forefront of the ensuing legal battles over this type of legislation.
Continue Reading California Attorney General Continues Fight to Ban Flavored Tobacco Products

On Friday, November 13, 2020, a federal district court entered a preliminary injunction against the City of Philadelphia’s Ordinance 180457, which purported to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, with minor exceptions.  As in all cases where a preliminary injunction is entered, the court found that the Plaintiffs demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits and would be irreparably harmed absent an injunction, and that the balance of the equities and the public interest weighed in favor of an injunction.
Continue Reading Federal Court Enjoins City of Philadelphia Ban on Flavored Tobacco Products

Plaintiffs have appealed to the Eighth and Ninth Circuits, challenging flavored tobacco bans in Los Angeles County, California, and the City of Edina, Minnesota. The cases could have implications for similar laws in other States and localities.

Has Congress preempted local authority to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products? Two different U.S. Courts of Appeals will have the opportunity to answer the question in R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. v. City of Edina, et al., No. 20-2852 (8th Cir.), and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. v. Los Angeles County, et al., No. 20-55930 (9th Cir.).
Continue Reading Two U.S. Courts of Appeals to Consider Federal Preemption of Local Flavor Bans

On Wednesday, August 19, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order enjoining FDA from enforcing the premarket review requirement contained in the agency’s “Deeming Rule” against “premium cigars” (as defined in the order) until the agency completes a review of the question of “whether a streamlined substantial equivalence process is appropriate for premium cigars.”  The opinion does not throw out the Deeming Rule in its entirety but only remands it to the agency for further consideration of this question.
Continue Reading FDA Premarket Review Process for Premium Cigars Halted

Cases challenging Los Angeles County’s flavored tobacco ban could define the limit of State and local authority in addressing flavored tobacco products and could have implications for similar laws in other States and localities.

Los Angeles County’s flavored tobacco ban is being challenged in two cases: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. v. Los Angeles County, et al., No. 2:20-cv-04880 (C.D. Cal.), and CA Smoke & Vape Association, Inc., et al. v. Los Angeles County, et al., No. 2:20-cv-4065 (C.D. Cal.). Both cases are before the Honorable Dale S. Fischer of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Continue Reading Is L.A. County’s Flavored Tobacco Ban Unlawful?

Relying on the regulatory and legal uncertainty surrounding cannabidiol (CBD), Food and Drug Administration statements and state laws, several class actions have been filed since late 2019 against companies selling CBD products, a number of which have been filed in California federal courts. In at least two cases, courts have adopted defendants’ requests to delay the cases while the FDA continues to study CBD and how it should be federally regulated. These cases could represent a developing “wait and see” approach by federal courts dealing with CBD class action lawsuits.
Continue Reading Federal Courts May Be Trending Toward Delaying CBD Consumer Class Action Lawsuits

Following up the R.J. Reynolds-led challenge to FDA’s updated graphic warning label rule, which was filed in the federal court for the Eastern District of Texas, Philip Morris USA Inc. (“Philip Morris”) filed a second, similar challenge on May 6, 2020, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, et al., (No. 1:20-cv-01181).

Philip Morris’ complaint makes many of the same challenges seen in the industry’s 2011 challenge to the previous iteration of the graphic warning rule and alleges that the graphic warning label rule violates the First Amendment for multiple reasons.
Continue Reading Philip Morris USA Leads Second Lawsuit Challenging FDA’s Updated Graphic Warning Label Rule

In a recent article in Bloomberg Tax, Troutman Sanders attorneys Robert Claiborne and Agustin Rodriguez discuss a House subcommittee hearing on the effect of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Wayfair decision on small businesses and whether Congress might try to mitigate the effects of state and local taxation on interstate commerce in the wake of

Late yesterday, April 22, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland issued its long-awaited Order formally extending the May 12, 2020 deadline for submitting marketing applications for those deemed “new tobacco products” that were on the U.S. market on August 8, 2016.  That deadline is now September 9, 2020.

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On April 9, 2020, RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company and its affiliates (“Reynolds”) filed complaints before the United States International Trade Commission (“ITC”) and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia seeking to stop Altria Group (“Altria”), Philip Morris International (“PMI”) and certain of their respective affiliates from importing and selling the IQOS heated tobacco device system.  This system is a “heat not burn” device whereby the user inserts a disposable “tobacco stick” into an electronic holder and turns on the device, which then heats the tobacco stick enough to generate an aerosol but not combust the stick. 
Continue Reading RJ Reynolds Sues Altria and Philip Morris International to Stop IQOS Imports