On March 18, 2022, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit held that the federal Tobacco Control Act (TCA) does not block Los Angeles County from banning the sale of certain FDA-authorized tobacco products. The decision was a setback for WLF, which filed an amicus brief contending that Los Angeles’s 2020 flavor ban clashes with the TCA’s preemption clause, which prohibits state and local governments from banning the sale of tobacco products for failure to conform to standards that differ from the FDA’s. WLF’s brief argued that the County cannot escape preemption simply by recasting its flavor ban as a regulation of tobacco “sales” rather than tobacco “manufacturing.” Under the TCA, a standard is a “standard” for preemption purposes no matter how it is enforced or labeled.


 WLF brief