Court: FDA can't stop imports of e-cigarettes

An appeals court is saying the Food and Drug Administration cannot stop imports of electronic cigarettes.

The FDA wants to regulate e-cigarettes as a drug-device and last year ordered that a shipment could not enter the United States.

But Sottera Inc. of Arizona, which does business as e-cigarette distributor NJOY, says in a lawsuit that its product cannot be regulated as a drug-device.

Instead, the company says it is a tobacco product since it's derived from tobacco plants. The court agreed in its ruling.

E-cigarettes operate with a heating element and a battery. Users inhale a vaporized liquid nicotine mixture much the way traditional smokers inhale smoke, but without fire, smoke, ash or carbon monoxide.