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The VTA Supports 5th Circuit Rehearing En Banc with Amicus Brief

5th circuit hearing in the case Wages & White Lion Investments, a/k/a/ Triton Distribution v. FDA.

New Orleans, LA – September 9, 2022  – The Fifth Circuit granted the Vapor Technology Association’s (VTA) unopposed motion to file an amicus brief in support of Petitioners’ Petition for a Rehearing En Banc in the case Wages & White Lion Investments, a/k/a/ Triton Distribution v. FDA.

Recently, a panel of Fifth Circuit judges denied Triton Distribution’s appeal of the FDA’s market denial order (MDO) for its flavored e-liquid products in a 2-1 decision.  Thereafter, Triton filed a Petition for en banc review, asking the entire Fifth Circuit to reconsider the ruling. 

VTA’s amicus brief supports Triton’s request by explaining that it involves issues of “exceptional importance” necessitating review by the entire Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.   VTA’s amicus brief highlights three key points:

  1. Economist John Dunham & Associates’ evaluation of the adverse economic impact that the ruling would have if it lead to the removal of all flavored open-system vaping products from the states comprising the 5th Circuit (Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas);
  2. The leading tobacco-control scientists who have warned that removing flavors will deter adult smokers from quitting and have recommended limiting the sale of flavored vaping products to adult-only stores; and
  3. The results of VTA analysis of FDA’s compliance data between 1/1/20 and 6/30/22 which reveals:
    1. The rate of illegal youth sales of cigarettes and cigars are twice the rate of vaping products;
    2. Of all violations for youth vaping sales, only 3.61% occurred in true brick and mortar vape shops with nearly 80% occuring in non-age-restricted facilities; and
    3. 60% of all youth vaping sales violations involved traditional tobacco flavors (tobacco, mint, menthol) with less than 40% involving other flavors which the 5th Circuit’s ruling would adversely limit.

VTA’s full amicus brief + the economic impact report is available HERE.

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