One of America’s largest vaping companies files for bankruptcy

Declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy may be the end for NJOY, or it may mean a retooled company will emerge

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njoy-bankruptcy

One of vaping’s most effective advocacy voices may have been silenced. NJOY, a pioneering e-cigarette manufacturer, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

NJOY is most famous for the Sottera decision, in which the U.S. District Court held that the FDA could not regulate vapor products as unregulated drug delivery devices. After Judge Richard Leon ruled for Sottera (as NJOY was known), the FDA appealed. In December 2010, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Leon’s decision, and the FDA began the long process of regulating vape as tobacco products.

The company was caught between its core business and the new and expanding market.

NJOY was founded by Arizona attorney Mark Weiss. After blu E-Cigs was bought by Lorillard in 2012, NJOY was the largest e-cigarette manufacturer not owned by a tobacco company. They used their market strength as a platform to fund advocacy for vapor products.

Their lobbying efforts spilled over to the open-systems vapor companies, and to their trade organizations and even to consumer advocacy. Many who work now fighting for the vapor industry and for vapers credit NJOY’s Brian Fojtik and Pamela Gorman for valuable training and advice on dealing with legislators, especially at the state and local levels.

njoy-logo-2

NJOY’s mission is to end smoking-related death and disease by offering preferred alternatives to adult smokers and vapers around the world. In doing so, they hope to make the combustion cigarette obsolete.

NJOY has primarily been a manufacturer of disposable cigalikes. But two years ago, the company introduced a line of premium e-liquid called The Artist Collection, four flavors mixed by well-known independent e-liquid creators. But the company was caught between its core business and the new and expanding market. It never really found a place in the open-systems world.

The end?

NJOY Artist Collection
NJOY Artist Collection

Chapter 11 bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily spell the end of the company. The court could decide to allow reorganization, either under the current ownership’s guidance or run by NJOYs creditors.

If not for the Weiss family’s commitment to stand up for vaping — gambling their money and futures on the fight — the entire industry might have failed before it had a chance. Whether they’ve used NJOY products or not, all vapers owe the company a debt of gratitude. This is a sad day for vaping.

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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.
  • I hope a new and improved Njoy emerges from chapter 11. I appreciate what the company has done for vaping and am a fan of the Artist Collection (go POET Randy!).

    • Jim McDonald

      I agree!

      • Brian Wendel

        Jim, what is best way to contact you via email re FDA ‘Grandfather’ Date and news angle to share with you? Thank you. [email protected]

  • frank

    FWIW I had never even heard of the line of e-liquid NJOY marketed. And I am active on several well-trafficked online ecig sites. Tells me they might have done a better job of marketing…

    • Jim McDonald

      It was launched with a LOT of fanfare, and has been available in lots and lots of vape shops. Not sure how you could have missed it.

  • Murray_B

    This is just the beginning of the real impact of “deeming”.

    • Jim McDonald

      I don’t think this had anything to do with the deeming regs. But you will see a lot of companies fail because of it, yes.