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Azim Chowdhury is a regulatory and public policy attorney with a focus on vapor, nicotine and tobacco product regulation. He is a Partner in Keller and Heckman’s nationally-ranked food and drug law practice.

Mr. Chowdhury advises domestic and foreign corporations in matters of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and international regulatory compliance. In particular, he has developed expertise in tobacco and vapor product regulation relating to the implementation of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, and spearheaded the Tobacco and E-Vapor practice at Keller and Heckman. Specifically, Mr. Chowdhury has experience representing tobacco, e-cigarette and e-liquid manufacturers, distributors, retailers, suppliers and trade associations in matters of FDA, state and global regulatory compliance. He also assists corporations in establishing clearances for food and drug additives in the U.S., Canada, and European Union, with an emphasis on indirect additives used in food-contact materials.

Mr. Chowdhury has authored and edited numerous articles and publications, including Tobacco Regulation and Compliance: An Essential Resource, FDA Regulation of Tobacco: A Comprehensive Guide – An FDLI Primer and Tobacco and Nicotine Delivery: Regulation and Compliance, 2nd Edition. He is a frequent contributor to the Food and Drug Law Institute's (FDLI) Update Magazine and has served on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Food and Drug Law Journal.  In addition, he has been interviewed in the U.S. News and World Reports Best Lawyers Edition (2016) and was named one of “10 Names to Know in the Vape World” in the October 2015 issue of Vape Magazine. Mr. Chowdhury received the 2018 National Law Review Go-To Thought Leadership Award for his consistent coverage of the emerging issues surrounding vaping and e-cigarettes on Keller and Heckman’s law blog, The Continuum of Risk.  As an industry leader, Mr. Chowdhury frequently speaks at industry conferences and events.

Mr. Chowdhury also has an active pro bono practice through Keller and Heckman’s Pro Bono Program, and has been featured in the Baltimore Sun for successfully obtaining asylum in the United States for a family who fled their home country of El Salvador because of violence they faced from an international gang.

Prior to entering private practice, he served as a judicial law clerk on the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland. Mr. Chowdhury received a B.A. and B.S. from Johns Hopkins University, a MBA from the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business, and a JD, cum laude, from the University of Maryland School of Law.

Education: Johns Hopkins University (B.A., B.S., 2003); University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business (M.B.A., 2006); University of Maryland School of Law (J.D., 2006, cum laude).

Admissions: District of Columbia; Maryland

Keller and Heckman Partner Azim Chowdhury and Associate Neelam Gill published an article for the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) titled, “Will FDA Extend Its Proposed Ban on Menthol Cigarettes and Characterizing Flavors in Cigars to Flavored ENDS Products?” The article discusses FDA’s recent announcement to initiate a rulemaking to ban menthol cigarettes, as

A new paper co-authored by fifteen past presidents of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) and published in the American Journal of Public Health encourages the media, legislators, and the general public to re-evaluate negative attitudes toward vaping. Kenneth Warner, lead author and dean emeritus and the Avedis Donabedian Distinguished University Professor

On June 28, 2021, North Carolina Attorney General Joshua Stein announced entry of a final consent judgment between JUUL Labs, Inc. (JUUL) and North Carolina. This consent judgment ends a nearly two-year legal battle and marks the first time a state successfully settled a lawsuit against JUUL, the leading U.S. e-cigarette company. North Carolina’s original

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs recently published the Spring 2021 Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. This year’s Department of Health and Human Services’ agenda addresses 8 topics directly related to tobacco and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), summarized below:

Final Rule Stage

As we have previously reported, on December 27, 2020, Congress amended the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act to apply to e-cigarettes and all vaping products (referred to in the legislation collectively as “Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems” or “ENDS”).  Under the amended PACT Act, these products are subject to the same federal and state

Background on the PACT Act

As part of the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021,” in the most recent COVID-19 relief bill signed into law on December 27, 2020, Congress amended the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (“PACT”) Act to apply to e-cigarettes and all vaping products. Originally passed in 2009, the PACT Act amended the

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released an updated module, “Tobacco Registration and Listing Module Next Generation (TRLM NG)” to its FDA Unified Registration and Listing (FURLS) Tobacco Registration and Listing Module (TRLM) (FURLS TRLM). TRLM NG was developed to better assist industry stakeholders submitting information and to improve system usability.

On August 24, 2020, Keller and Heckman LLP filed a citizen petition (here) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on behalf of a group of small vapor product manufacturers, retailers, and trade associations requesting that the agency seek a 180-day extension of the September 9, 2020 deadline (until March 8, 2021)

On April 22, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland modified its July 12, 2019 Remedies Order (the “Remedies Order”) in American Academy of Pediatrics, et al. v. FDA, et al., No. 8:18-cv-00883 (D. Md.) to extend the May 12, 2020 premarket application deadline to September 9, 2020 for all deemed

Since the Farm Bill of 2018 changed the definition and regulatory status of hemp from an agricultural perspective, confusion and misinformation has been rife on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory status of hemp and its products—including cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid.  Despite there not being a clear basis for concluding that CBD