Since it became effective in 2016, the cigar industry has mounted several challenges to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) “Deeming Rule,” which extended the Agency’s tobacco product authority beyond cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and roll-your-own tobacco, to all products that meet the “tobacco product” definition in the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act,
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
FDA Denies Authorization to Market JUUL ENDS Products; Company Intends to Seek Stay of the Marketing Denial Orders
On June 23, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued marketing denial orders (MDOs) to Juul Labs Inc. for all of the company’s JUUL electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products currently marketed in the United States. After review, FDA determined that Juul’s Premarket Tobacco Product Applications (PMTAs), submitted more than two years…
Manufacturing E-Cigarettes in China: How to Obtain the Manufacturer License
Following China’s new GB standard on e-cigarettes that we summarized in early May 2022, the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA) has now published a rule outlining the process for Chinese e-cigarette manufacturers to obtain the required manufacturer license. This rule applies not only to manufacturers producing e-cigarettes for the domestic Chinese market, but also to…
China Publishes Final GB Standard on E-Cigarettes: The Basis for Product Compliance
Since we reported in December 2021 on some significant developments in China’s regulation of e-cigarettes (including the draft national standard on e-cigarettes) as well as in March 2022 on the finalized Management Rules for E-Cigarettes, China’s State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA), also referred to as China National Tobacco Corporation (CNTC), has not only released the…
FDA Authorizes NJOY ACE Tobacco-Flavored Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) Products for Marketing
On April 26, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized an additional four tobacco-flavored electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products for marketing under the Premarket Tobacco Product Application (PMTA) pathway. Marketing granted orders (MGOs) were issued for the following NJOY tobacco-flavored ENDS products:
- NJOY Ace Device: Closed e-cigarette device
- NJOY Ace Pod
Tobacco Industry Leader Joins Keller and Heckman’s Expanding Tobacco and E-Vapor Practice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2022
Media Contact: Caryn Wick
—Washington, D.C.— International regulatory law firm Keller and Heckman LLP welcomes the addition of Counsel, Daniel P. McGee, to the firm’s expanding Tobacco and E-Vapor practice.
Prior to joining Keller and Heckman, Daniel worked as in-house counsel for several multinational tobacco,…
FDA Authorizes Tobacco-Flavored Logic Technology Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) for Marketing & Issues Marketing Denial Orders for Fontem’s myblu ENDS Products
FDA Premarket Tobacco Product Application (PMTA) Pathway
Under FDA’s premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) pathway, manufacturers or importers of tobacco products must demonstrate to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the marketing of a new tobacco product would be appropriate for the protection of the public health (APPH). See Section 910(c)(2)(A) of the…
Breaking News – China Finalizes Management Rules for E-Cigarettes
We reported in December 2021 that China’s State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA) published on its website the draft Management Rules for E-cigarettes and the updated national standard (GB) on e-cigarettes for public comment. Working with important industry members, including industry associations and manufacturers, Keller and Heckman filed comments to STMA to address and seek clarification …
FDA Receives Authorization to Regulate Synthetic Nicotine
On March 15, President Joe Biden signed a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the federal government through September. The bill, as passed, includes a provision amending the definition of “tobacco product” in Section 201(rr) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”) as “any product made or derived from tobacco, or containing…
Two New State Laws Could Disrupt the Vapor Industry
On January 1, 2022, two new state laws will become effective in Illinois and Oregon and could cause significant disruption to the vapor industry. We provide background on the legislation and discuss the potential implications for the sales of vapor products in the respective states.
On January 1, 2022, SB 0512, The Preventing Youth …