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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

On June 22, 2023, FDA announced it had issued warning letters to 189 retailers for selling unauthorized flavored tobacco products manufactured by Elf Bar and Esco Bar brands. This enforcement action comes on the heels of earlier aggressive action by FDA in its issuance of more than 570 warning letters to firms for the manufacture

As we previously reported, the Reagan-Udall Report evaluated FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) and reported that stakeholders were concerned over, among other things, a lack of clear guidance and transparency regarding regulations, the premarket review process, and enforcement priorities. On February 24, 2023, CTP responded to the report and committed to addressing all

Seal of the Supreme Court of the United States

On June 14, 2023, Keller and Heckman Partners Eric Gotting and Azim Chowdhury, on behalf of a group of public health experts, filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in support of Avail Vapor’s writ of certiorari petitioning SCOTUS to review the Fourth Circuit’s decision to uphold the Food

I.      Reagan-Udall Report

In July 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner, Dr. Robert Califf, released a public statement saying the agency “has confronted a series of challenges that have tested our regulatory frameworks and stressed the agency’s operations.” As such, Commissioner Califf was “prompt[ed] . . . to take a closer look at

Banner to advertise Keller and Heckman's series of articles on tobacco regulation in the European Union, with imagery of an e-vapor device, cigarettes, and a European Union flag.

On February 21, 2023, the European Commission opened a public consultation[1] seeking feedback on the performance of the current legislative framework for tobacco products, and ways that the legislation could be improved. All interested stakeholders can submit comments until May 16, 2023.

I. Background

In May 2008, the European Commission issued a report[2]

On March 10, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a long-awaited proposed rule on Requirements for Tobacco Product Manufacturing Practice (TPMP),[1] which sets forth proposed requirements for the manufacture, design, packing, and storage of tobacco products[2]. The proposed requirements are essentially “good manufacturing practices” for tobacco products and are intended to minimize

On February 22, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the filing of civil money penalty (CMP) complaints against four domestic e-liquid manufacturers, all of which appear to be small vape shops that were producing nicotine-containing e-liquids used in open-system electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) devices.[1] The four named companies are:

On November 8, 2022, California voters approved[1] the Referendum on 2020 Law That Would Prohibit the Retail Sale of Certain Flavored Tobacco Products (Proposition 31). The referendum, submitted in accordance with the provisions of Section 9 of Article II of the California Constitution, asked California citizens to vote on whether to uphold a 2020

Recently, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) adopted safe harbor warning regulations for cannabis smoke and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC) under California Proposition 65.[1]

What is Proposition 65?

The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (also known as Proposition 65) requires the governor of California to publish, at

On October 18, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of the U.S. Food and Drug AdministratDepartment of Justice Sealion (FDA), filed complaints for permanent injunctions against six domestic e-liquid manufacturers across different federal district courts, all of which appear to be small vape shops that were producing nicotine-containing e-liquids used in open-system e-cigarette devices.