A U.S. judge has ruled that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have the authority to regulate electronic cigarettes, The Wall Street Journal reported.
In a 32-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon sided with electronic cigarette maker Smoking Everywhere Inc., and found that the FDA did not have the authority to regulate the products and also could not stop them from entering the country.
Smoking Everywhere, one of the largest makers of electronic cigarettes, had challenged the FDA’s authority over the products.
The decision is a blow to the FDA’s efforts to regulate tobacco products as drugs or devices. The agency has seized shipments of the product, which look like cigarettes but do not contain tar.
“This case appears to be yet another example of FDA’s aggressive efforts to regulate recreational tobacco products as drugs or devices,” Leon was quoted as saying. He added the FDA’s “tenacious drive to maximize its regulatory power has resulted in its advocacy of an interpretation of the relevant law that I find, at first blush, to be unreasonable and unacceptable.”