A couple of years ago we posted an overview of state licensing and excise tax considerations for tobacco companies. In this post, we take a closer look at state excise tax considerations. When approaching state excise tax issues, it may be helpful to establish a checklist to help manufacturers, distributors, and retailers determine the impact of these laws on their products and distribution models.Continue Reading State Excise Tax Considerations for Tobacco and Nicotine Manufacturers, Distributors and Retailers

Over the past decade, at least five states and hundreds of localities have passed, or attempted to pass, laws banning flavored tobacco products. To date, litigants have brought many challenges to these laws, often arguing that such bans are preempted under the federal Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA). This argument, however, has largely proven unsuccessful — a trend that continued in January when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company’s challenge to California’s ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products.Continue Reading US Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to California’s Flavor Ban

In December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warning letters to online retailers for reportedly selling unauthorized e-cigarette products. Consistent with the Center for Tobacco Products’ (CTP) recent focus, the letters target unauthorized products, which FDA states are particularly appealing to youth — including Lost Mary, Funky Republic/Funky Lands, and Elf Bar/EB Design. These warning letters follow FDA’s recent issuance of civil money penalty complaints against 25 brick-and-mortar retailers for failing to comply with prior warning letters. Those civil money penalty complaints, which we previously discussed here, continued the agency’s approach of seeking the maximum penalty approved by law.

Continue Reading FDA Maintains Heightened Enforcement Against Sellers of Illegal E-Cigarettes

Recently, NJOY LLC filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against more than 30 foreign and domestic defendants that manufacture, market, distribute, and sell tobacco products in an (indirect) effort to force them to comply with federal and state laws. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company (collectively, RJR) also recently filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) against more than 25 foreign and domestic manufacturers, distributors, and retailers (collectively, the respondents) that seeks to prevent the import and resale of certain tobacco products. These lawsuits serve as two examples of how industry is trying to take independent legal action to target allegedly noncompliant actors and force them to comply with applicable law.

Continue Reading ENDS Companies Take Legal Action Against Allegedly Noncompliant Competitors

In September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued two new rounds of warning letters to online retailers, manufacturers, and distributors for reportedly selling or distributing unauthorized e-cigarette products. Notably, FDA’s most recent letters target several popular disposable flavored products, including Elf Bar, EB Design, Lava, Cali, Bang, and Kangertech, which FDA states are particularly appealing to youth. FDA also sought civil money penalties against 22 retailers for failing to comply with prior warning letters and, for the first time, sought the maximum penalty allowed by law.Continue Reading FDA Ramps Up Enforcement Against Flavored Disposable E-Cigarettes as External Pressures Mount

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

The Virginia ABC will assess a regulatory scheme for liquid nicotine, with the consultation of stakeholders, and issue a report and recommendations.

On April 12, the Virginia General Assembly enacted House Bill 2296 and Senate Bill 1350, incorporating recommendations of Governor Glenn Youngkin to have the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) “assess” a potential licensing scheme for liquid nicotine manufacturers, distributors, and retail dealers, as well as administrative and enforcement matters relating to liquid nicotine licensing, age verification, product verification, and advertising restrictions. These bills effectively instruct the ABC to tell the Virginia General Assembly whether and how the Commonwealth should regulate liquid nicotine. The ABC’s report and recommendations are due by November 1, and will be informed by stakeholder input. The enactments specify that the ABC will conduct its assessment “in consultation with stakeholders, including public and community health organizations, retailers, tobacco and vaporized nicotine companies, and wholesalers.”Continue Reading Stakeholders’ Input Welcome: Virginia ABC to Assess Options for Regulating Liquid Nicotine in the Commonwealth

The Troutman Pepper Tobacco Team was featured in part two of a two-part podcast on recent developments in the tobacco industry and what to expect for the coming year. In this podcast, Bryan Haynes, Agustin Rodriguez and Nick Ramos discuss tobacco excise taxes; challenges to flavor bans; FDA’s regulation of nicotine levels; potential bans on

The Oregon Legislature’s 2023 regular session kicked off with a bang for the tobacco industry when House Bill 2128 (HB2128) was introduced at the request of Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum who also happens to the be president-elect of the National Association of Attorneys General. If passed, HB2128 would replace Oregon’s escrow deposit system, applicable to tobacco product manufacturers that are nonparticipating manufacturers (NPMs) under the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), with an equity assessment. While HB2128 was only recently introduced and has a number of hurdles to overcome before it becomes law, we are not aware of any other state that has made a similar proposal to retroactively change escrow deposit systems for NPMs. Thus, HB2128 is worth monitoring, not only for its potential impact to Oregon NPMs, but also to see whether similar legislation will be introduced in other states.Continue Reading Oregon Bill Proposes to Replace Escrow Deposit System With “Equity Assessment” for Certain Tobacco Product Manufacturers