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WASHINGTON — Vape manufacturers are taking a victory lap over a Supreme Court decision that could dramatically weaken the Food and Drug Administration’s power to regulate tobacco and nicotine products as regulators see fit.

The court on Friday overturned a judicial rule, known as the Chevron doctrine, which instructed courts to defer to regulators on certain legal issues. Vape manufacturers see the decision as a powerful weapon in their fight against the FDA’s efforts to ban the majority of vapes lining store shelves.


The FDA has argued that its decision to ban more than 1 million vapes is in line with a 2009 law that instructed the agency to approve new tobacco and nicotine products only when they are “appropriate for the protection of public health,” and vape companies have repeatedly tried, and largely failed, to convince judges that the FDA’s approach has been unlawful. Now, buoyed by the Supreme Court’s decision, the two vaping trade organizations in Washington see potential for a major breakthrough.

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