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Azim Chowdhury Quoted in Law360 Article on Upcoming Bills and Regulations to Watch For

Keller and Heckman Partner Azim Chowdhury was quoted in the Law360 article, “Product Liability Regs, Bills to Watch in the 2nd Half of 2021.” The article highlights what to watch on legislative and regulatory fronts for product liability in the second half of 2021, focusing on the chemicals, cannabis and e-cigarette industries. Azim discussed restrictions on e-cigarette and vaping products, as companies wait to hear whether the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will allow their products to remain on the market after processing their premarket tobacco product applications.

The FDA is reviewing millions of premarket tobacco applications submitted last September for e-cigarette products. Because of the large number of pending applications, the agency is prioritizing applications for products that have the largest market share, since those products have the most impact on public health, Azim said. That creates uncertainty for "the smaller companies, the vape shops that submitted hundreds, if not thousands of applications, but have a relatively small market share," Azim added.  In the interim, the FDA has continued to send warning letters to companies that haven't submitted applications for their vaping products. "We continue to see significant enforcement on that front," Azim said.

Azim also highlighted the looming ban on shipping e-cigarettes and e-cigarette components through the U.S. Postal Service as a result of the extension of the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act to apply to all vaping products. "Big tobacco companies have their own distribution chain and own ways of delivering products without the need to use common carriers," Azim said. "But at the same time, it's a very different consequence for small companies that do rely on those mechanisms."

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