11 Vaping Groups Unite To Sue FDA

11 Vaping associations challenge the deeming regulations in federal court


On June 20, the most anticipated lawsuit challenging the FDA’s deeming ban was filed. The Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition sued in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of 11 plaintiffs, and with the support of every major advocacy group in the country.

The suit challenges parts of the deeming regulations and the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act on several grounds, including violations of the Administrative Procedures Act and the First Amendment to the Constitution. The suit alleges eight violations in all.

The Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition was formed to fight unconstitutional state and federal e-cig and vaping laws. Its original focus was challenging the recently passed HEA 1432 in Indiana, which the coalition’s lawyers have challenged in both state and federal courts. Those efforts are still in progress. R2B retained the services of Washington, D.C. legal firm Keller and Heckman, LLC. Keller partner Azim Chowdhury is recognized as an expert in vapor products law, and he has handled the vaping cases.

The DC District Court: site of vaping’s greatest legal victory

DC Court

Long time vapers will remember the DC District Court as the same one that decided against the FDA in the Sottera (NJoy) case that opened the market for e-cigarettes. On January 14, 2010, Judge Richard Leon ruled against the FDA, saying that e-cigarettes were not drug delivery devices, and rebuking the agency for its regulatory overreach. The District Court of Appeals later upheld his decision. Will the DC District Court deliver justice for vapers again?

Every vaper is a stakeholder and we can all help

The plaintiffs in the new lawsuit are

The R2B suit has also been endorsed by all major American vaping advocacy organizations who weren’t named in the suit, including CASAA, Not Blowing Smoke, SEVIA USA, and SFATA. While vapor businesses will certainly bear most of the cost, everyone who is a stakeholder in the fight to keep vapor products legal and available should consider donating to the fund supporting this lawsuit.


Jim McDonald

I spend most of my time studying the regulatory, legislative and scientific challenges to vaping, advocating for our right to exist, and talking with others who do the same. Consider me a source for information, and feel free to agree or disagree with anything I say. I love good coffee and sweet Michigan cherries. My childhood hero was Gordie Howe.

  • It’s wonderful to see some unity and collaboration. I was afraid that petty squabbles would hinder efforts.

    • Jim McDonald

      Agreed. Though the more I look at similar struggles, the more I recognize that disagreements on just about everything are more the rule than the exception.

  • Spurious

    What exactly is at stake? Sorry I’m new to vaping (just killed a 15 year pack a day habit).

  • Amanda

    Something that could even, for a second, be considered.. not immediately thrown out. I mean, just the thought of a product being classified as & lumped in with tobacco products…… that isn’t a… tobacco…. product?! Not sure what happened to right/wrong, fairness.. putting human life (half a million per year, to be exact) BEFORE the almighty dollar.. definitely not the other way around….. Phew, what is this World coming to ??? =/ Imho, be afraid, be VERY afraid! I sure am! Live long(ER) & vape on! #ABillionLives

    • Jim McDonald

      Yes, the long term legislative goal of vaping advocates is to get e-cigs removed from the Tobacco Control Act and regulated as a separate kind of product. It’s lumped in because the TCA gives the FDA authority to regulate products that use nicotine derived from tobacco.

  • Rob

    Indiana. Pence. The Dark Ages.