Azim Chowdhury advises domestic and international corporations on regulatory compliance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its global counterparts, particularly focusing on vapor, nicotine, tobacco product and cannabis/cannabidiol (CBD) regulation, as well as food contact materials.
He counsels tobacco, e-cigarette, e-liquid and CBD manufacturers, distributors, retailers, suppliers, and trade associations on matters relating to regulatory compliance, as well as public policy initiatives. Azim is acknowledged nationwide for his in-depth knowledge of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which amended the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to give FDA authority over tobacco products, as well the Agency’s “Deeming Rule” which extended those authorities to previously unregulated products such as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), e-liquids, cigars, hookah/shisha, and heat-not-burn tobacco products. Azim also advises companies and trade associations on state and global law compliance, including in Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Union (EU), and China.
In addition to helping vapor, nicotine, and tobacco clients navigate federal and state regulatory complexities, Azim advises food and drug packaging companies in establishing food-contact regulatory clearances for their products in the United States (U.S.), Canada, and the EU.
Azim’s dedication to the practice of law has led to his involvement in activities such as Keller and Heckman’s Pro Bono program and Mackrell International. Notably, for a pro bono client, he successfully obtained asylum in the United States for a family who fled their home country of El Salvador due to violence they faced from an international gang. In 2020, Azim and the Keller and Heckman Pro Bono team obtained asylum for a persecuted gay man and LGBTQ rights advocate from Bangladesh. Additionally, Azim is a firm representative and Chair of the Next Generation group for Mackrell International, a global network of over 90 international law firms. His involvement in Mackrell International connects Keller and Heckman attorneys, and the clients they serve, with access to legal representation in all major world markets.
Azim is nationally recognized as a thought leader and frequently writes articles and speaks at industry conferences and public health events. He is the editor and primary contributing author to The Continuum of Risk, a law blog hosted by Keller and Heckman for vapor, tobacco, CBD, and reduced-harm product companies. He also spearheads the firm’s E-Vapor and Tobacco Law Symposium, an annual conference focusing on the regulatory and business issues relevant to e-vapor, e-liquid, and tobacco product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.
Prior to entering private practice, Azim served as a judicial law clerk on the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, where he honed his legal research, writing, and oral argument skills.
Latest Legal and Business Bylines From Azim Chowdhury
- FDA’s Marketing Denial Order Issued to Bidi Vapor’s Non-Tobacco Flavored ENDS Products are Set Aside and Remanded by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for being Arbitrary and Capricious - (Posted On Tuesday, January 09, 2024)
- 5th Circuit Issues Blistering Critique of FDA’s Handling of PMTAs for E-Cigarettes - (Posted On Tuesday, January 09, 2024)
- DC Circuit Vacates MDO for Tobacco-Flavored myblu ENDS Products; Potential Impact on Pending Juul PMTA - (Posted On Friday, November 10, 2023)
- 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey Shows Significant Decline in High School Vaping - (Posted On Monday, November 06, 2023)
- Largest U.S. E-Cigarette Clinical Trial Confirms Role in Smoking Cessation - (Posted On Wednesday, August 30, 2023)
- China Update: STMA Publishes Guidelines on Quality Assurance for E-Cigarettes for Export - (Posted On Friday, August 25, 2023)
- Federal Court Vacates FDA Deeming of Premium Cigars Subject to the Tobacco Control Act - (Posted On Tuesday, August 15, 2023)
- Experts Recommend FDA Adopt an Enhanced Regulatory Strategy for Nicotine and Tobacco Products to Help Reach Cancer Moonshot Goals - (Posted On Friday, June 23, 2023)
- The Reagan Udall Foundation – A Critical Evaluation of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products - (Posted On Wednesday, May 10, 2023)
- News Alert: Public Consultation on the EU’s Tobacco Products Legislation: Comment Period Open Until May 16, 2023 - (Posted On Thursday, April 06, 2023)
Azim Chowdhury and his coverage of Vaping Regulations and the FDA has been selected for a National Law Review Go-To Thought Leadership Award. Mr. Chowdhury’s consistent coverage of the emerging issues surrounding Vaping and E-cigarettes, especially his more recent work on the FDA’s push on teen and youth smoking, provides NLR readers with an understanding and analysis of an area that seems to be constantly shifting. You can see his work on Keller and Heckman’s blog on Vaping & the Tobacco Industry, Continuum of Risk.
Keller and Heckman LLP has been named a Go-To Thought Leader in the category of Biotech, Food, and Drug Law for 2022. Providing timely analysis on the topic of synthetic nicotine regulation in the United States, authors Azim Chowdhury, Neelam Gill, and Josephine Hsu article reached approximately 100,000 readers, demonstrating the extremely high quality of their thought leadership, as well as their authority regarding the FDA’s recent rulemaking. As the nicotine regulation landscape continues to change, the authors’ analysis serves as a valuable guide for attorneys and industry professionals.
The National Law Review Recognizes Keller and Heckman’s Food and Drug Law Practice Group as Go-To Thought Leaders for the firm’s contributions on FDA Regulations and guidelines. Keller and Heckman’s expansive FDA coverage included: proposed rules expanding food traceability and record-keeping requirements, new guidance for animal food additives, a final rule concerning gluten-free food labeling, and approval of a new peanut allergy drug. Addressing the COVID-19 crisis, Keller & Heckman provided news about warnings required by the FDA for Purell and other actions about hand sanitizer and additional Coronavirus prevention and cure claims, the FDA’s and OSHA’s employee health and food safety checklist(s) and COVID-19 best practices for retail and restaurants and COVID-19 Guidance to U.S. food exporters. The firm’s most frequent FDA / Food and Drug Law attorney contributors to the NLR include Azim Chowdhury, Sheila A. Millar, Evangelia Pelonis, Natalie Rainer and LieAnn Van-Tull.