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Courts Rule E-Cigarettes Should Be Regulated Like Tobacco Products

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The Wall Street Journal covers a lawsuit filed by CEI challenging the Department of Transportation's ban on vaping on airplanes.

A federal court on Friday upheld government regulations that subject e-cigarettes to the same marketing restrictions as tobacco cigarettes.

The Food and Drug Administration assumed regulatory authority over e-cigarettes in 2016, deeming them “tobacco products,” under a 2009 federal law that curbed tobacco marketing.

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Separately, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the U.S. Department of Transportation had acted within its authority when it banned on the use of e-cigarettes on commercial flights last year.

In a 2-1 ruling, the court agreed with the agency that a federal law prohibiting airline passengers from smoking tobacco products also covers vaping.

The agency said the regulation was driven by a concern that e-cigarettes release vapor plumes containing chemicals that could be potentially harmful or cause discomfort to other passengers.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think-tank, filed a lawsuit last year challenging the vaping ban as an “abuse of authority,” saying Congress never intended for the airplane smoking law to cover e-cigarettes.

The court said it isn’t clear if Congress meant to restrict only conventional smoking and that the Transportation Department’s broader interpretation was reasonable.

Read the full article at The Wall Street Journal.