Think Tanks Challenge FDA’s E-Cig Rules

Technology think tank TechFreedom and the conservative leaning National Center for Public Policy Research filed a brief in support of electronic-cigarette liquid manufacturer Nicopure Labs’ legal challenge to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s May e-cigarette regulations.

The groups are challenging the FDA’s rules, finalized in May, that they argue would require electronic-cigarette makers to spend an unreasonable amount of money and time on the premarket tobacco application process unless the products had been on the market before Feb. 15, 2007. TechFreedom and the NCPPR say that could cause most e-cigarette firms to shut down.

“This is an absurd way to regulate new technology,” Evan Swarztrauber, TechFreedom’s communications director, said in a Friday statement. “The e-cig industry looks nothing like it did in 2007, and setting the most primitive products as a baseline for regulatory approval is the best way to stifle innovation.”

Swarztrauber argues that the FDA’s rules could make it tougher for Americans to use the technology to consume nicotine in a safer way to smoking cigarettes.

“Regulations should be promulgated within the constraints of the rule of law, sound policy, and proportionality,” Daniel Suraci, an attorney working pro bono on behalf of NCPPR, said. “The FDA’s heavy-handed approach to e-cigarettes is an affront to smart governance as the regulations are not only in direct contradiction of the scientific evidence showing the public health benefits of vaping, but also compel consumer use and public exposure to cancer-causing tobacco products.”

Nicopure, an e-liquid and e-cigarette manufacturer based in Trinity, Fla., sued the FDA over the new rules on May 10.

The FDA declined to comment on the lawsuit.