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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

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Two months after the September 9, 2021 PMTA enforcement discretion deadline, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken action on well over 90% of timely submitted Premarket Tobacco Product Applications (PMTAs), and has issued over 323 marketing denial orders (MDOs) for more than
1.2 million non-tobacco and non-menthol flavored Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems

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

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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

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