On March 15, President Joe Biden signed a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the federal government through September. The bill, as passed, includes a provision amending the definition of “tobacco product” in Section 201(rr) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”) as “any product made or derived from tobacco, or containing nicotine from any source, that is intended for human consumption.” 21 U.S.C. 321(rr). Now that it is law, this provision closes the synthetic nicotine “loophole” and puts synthetic nicotine products under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) tobacco regulatory authority.
The law will become effective 30 days after the bill’s enactment, i.e., on April 14, 2022 (“Effective Date”). Any synthetic nicotine product currently on the U.S. market as of April 14, 2022, can remain on the market for an additional 30 days until May 14, 2022 (the “Synthetic Nicotine PMTA Submission Deadline”). Manufacturers of synthetic nicotine products wishing to take advantage of FDA’s compliance policy and enforcement discretion after that date must submit a premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) to FDA by the enforcement date. If a PMTA is submitted in a timely manner, the product(s) may remain on the market for an additional 90 days after the effective date, i.e., until July 13, 2022. After July 13, 2022, any synthetic nicotine product not authorized by FDA must come off the market.(National Law Review)