US - general: Juul Labs has announced that it has reached settlements covering more than 5,000 lawsuits brought by around 10,000 plaintiffs. The settlements cover personal injury allegations, consumer class action, and cases brought by government bodies and Native American tribal groups. Financial terms of the settlements were not disclosed, but Juul said it had secured an equity investment to fund them.
From February 2022, subscribers can view and filter individual regulatory alerts per region. If you want to get our monthly compilations, visit our alerts round-up section.
US - Maine: South Portland City Council is considering a ban on the sale of flavoured tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Councillors voted 5-2 yesterday in favour of the ban, which will include menthol products, press reports. South Portland, which has a population of 27,000, could become the fourth Maine community to ban flavoured tobacco, a previous attempt having failed in 2019.
US - New York: Westchester County legislators have voted to ban the sale of flavoured tobacco products, including menthol-flavoured products. The county-wide ban will come into effect in six months. Local media reports differing opinions in the community. Supporters said the ban would be a victory for “young people and the Black community”, citing data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On the other hand, critics said the ban could lead to a black market in flavoured products, especially menthol cigarettes. Others said it may harm local businesses, especially those near other areas where there is no such ban. Westchester County, north of New York City, has a population of almost 1m.
US - California: RJ Reynolds and other tobacco companies have filed a motion in the US Supreme Court asking for an emergency order to prevent California from enforcing the flavour ban approved in the November ballot, press reports.
US - Oregon: The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners hosted a public hearing yesterday on proposed rules which would ban the sale of flavoured tobacco and nicotine products in the county. The board is scheduled to hear a first reading of the ordinance on Thursday, with a possible second reading on 15th December. Part of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area, Multnomah County has a population of just over 800,000 and includes Portland, the largest city in Oregon.
US - general: A medical study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) suggests that patients who used e-cigarettes were at a higher risk than non-vapers of developing dental cavities. This is treated as preliminary data, and the researchers say: “evidence on the potential oral health effects of vaping is scarce and there are limited data on possible links to both caries and periodontal disease”.
US - Louisiana: The Department of Revenue has published a rule amending the Louisiana Administrative Code (LAC 61.III.1533 and 1534) to mandate electronic filing of tobacco tax returns and reports by retailers of vapour products and electronic payment of the tax. The proposed rule was published on 20th August and heard on 27th September.
US - Oklahoma: The Oklahoma County Board of Commissioners has voted to join the litigation against the biggest e-cigarette manufacturers, alleging that companies such as Juul Labs knew about the risks involved and their marketing to youth, local media reports. District commissioner Brian Maughan said: “Oklahoma statistically has an exorbitantly high number of young people before they’re even 18, participating in doing e-cigarette forms of tobacco usage.” Oklahoma County, which includes the state capital Oklahoma City, has a population of around 800,000.
US - federal: New warning letters have been sent out by the FDA to e-liquid manufacturers for manufacturing, selling or distributing e-liquid products without a marketing authorisation order.
US - general: According to a new study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more than 3m middle and high school students reported using a “tobacco product” in 2022. The study assessed eight commercial products and concluded that for the ninth consecutive year e-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product, followed by cigars, cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.
US - California: As expected, voters in California yesterday passed Proposition 31 to uphold the 2020 legislation banning the sale of flavoured e-cigarette and tobacco products. Senate Bill 793 was delayed due to a referendum call by the industry, which gave the voters the final say. Many local jurisdictions in the state have already passed some sort of restriction on flavoured products, the sale of which will now be forbidden state-wide.
US - California: Proposition 31, which aims to uphold Senate Bill 793, is on the state ballot today. A “yes” vote would ban the sale of flavoured tobacco and vaping products in California.
Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Superior Court has dismissed a challenge to the town of Brookline’s Tobacco-Free Generation bylaw, which will remain in effect, town administrator Chas Carey has announced. The bylaw prohibits anyone born after 1st January 2000 from purchasing tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, in the town. “The dismissal of this challenge is a positive outcome, validating decades of tobacco control work in local government to reduce access to tobacco and nicotine products and prevent disease for future generations,” the town’s public health commissioner Sigalle Reiss said. “Brookline has laid the path that other communities may now follow as they seek to keep harmful tobacco products out of the hands of generations to come.” Brookline, which lies in the Boston metropolitan area, has a population of around 60,000.
US - federal: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued marketing denial orders (MDOs) for several e-cigarette products currently marketed by Logic Technology Development, including the Logic Pro Menthol e-Liquid Package and Logic Power Menthol e-Liquid Package. These are the first menthol e-cigarette products to receive a marketing decision based on a full scientific review from the FDA.
US - general: A new study from the University of Louisville has found that exposure to specific e-cigarette ingredients can cause heart arrhythmias and cardiac electrical dysfunction. According to lead researcher Alex Carll, inhaling “certain flavors or solvent vehicles” could increase the risk of atrial or ventricular fibrillation and sudden cardiac arrest. He also stressed the “urgent need” for more research into the cardiac effects of these components on animals and humans.
US - general: Juul Labs has posted its 129-page administrative appeal against the marketing denial order (MDO) issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), explaining the company’s position and describing the MDO as “substantively and procedurally flawed”. Juul has presented data to counter the four main deficiencies listed in the MDO, highlighting the lack of an iterative review, saying a different standard was applied to Juul’s premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) than to other PMTAs that have been accepted, and referring to the political pressure the FDA has been under to remove Juul products from the market. Links to all documents of the ongoing suit have been made available on Juul’s website.
US - federal: The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed complaints in federal district courts seeking permanent injunctions to stop six e-cigarette manufacturers making and selling unauthorised vaping products. The DOJ alleges infractions that include failing to submit premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs) and repeatedly illegally manufacturing, selling and distributing their products, despite receiving warning letters from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that they were breaking the law. This is the first time the FDA has used injunction proceeding to enforce the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act’s premarket review requirements for tobacco products.
US - Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Superior Court has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a local by-law banning the sale of tobacco products in the town of Brookline to anyone born after 1st January 2000. The court saw no conflict between the town law and state law, which specifically allows cities and towns to restrict the sale of tobacco products.
US - general: In a letter to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, the American Vapor Manufacturers Association (AVM) has requested an investigation into “potential unethical misconduct” by Illinois senator Richard Durbin. They believe Durbin’s repeated demands that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ban all vaping products, before the agency could finish its assessment of them, violated a Senate ban on intervention in the decision-making of federal agencies.
US - general: Tim Andrews, director of consumer issues for the think tank Americans for Tax Reform, has said the “vaping vote” possesses immense influence, which could affect the upcoming 2022 midterm elections. He bases that claim on a survey of votes which found “two in three vapers are likely to vote for a candidate aligned with them on vaping policy”. He added: “There are 20 million adult vapers in the United States. That amounts to at least 45,000 in each Congressional district, easily enough to make the difference in a close election.”
US - Oregon: Portland Public Schools district is suing Juul, accusing the e-cigarette maker of intentionally targeting youth, enticing them with kid-friendly flavours, and employing deceitful advertising practices, local media reports. “PPS is committed to the health and well-being of our students,” the district said. “We’re proud to demonstrate this commitment by becoming the first school district in Oregon to join the Juul lawsuit. The defendants’ predatory practices have victimized students – our students – and we have a responsibility to hold them accountable for the harm they have caused our community.”
US - general: Juul Labs is beginning talks for funding a potential Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, Bloomberg reports. Anonymous sources have reported that the company has engaged in informal talks, with formal discussions expected to progress in the coming days. The preparations are not final, as a spokesperson for Juul stated they are also considering other avenues. “We will continue the preparation process for both a restructuring and other strategic options as we determine what path is best for our company,” the spokesperson said.
US - Portland Oregon metropolitan area: Washington County’s Ordinance 878 – which passed last November, has been on hold since January, was ratified by voters in May, but kept on hold by a preliminary injunction in July – has now been struck down by a circuit court judge, who decided the county had no authority to enact a local ban on the sale of flavoured tobacco products. The county has issued a statement disagreeing with the ruling and saying it will consider options for an appeal.
US - California: The city of Chula Vista has unanimously voted to ban the sale of flavoured tobacco and vaping products from 1st January 2023, local media reports. With a population of over 275,000, Chula Vista is the second-largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area.
US - federal: The FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) has published a new webinar providing a brief overview of the resources available to retailers to help prevent the sale of tobacco products to under-21s, focusing on age verification, internal compliance checks, and recommended training practices. The webinar also covers recent updates to federal law on products that contain synthetic nicotine.
US - federal: Brian King, director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) has told the Associated Press news agency (AP) about his approach to policymaking, including potential flavour restrictions. He mentioned the nicotine-salts technology in e-cigarettes that could be a good fit for smokers, but also warned of its danger to youth.