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When a court-set deadline for "premarket" review of nicotine vaping products came and went on Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had received millions of applications but had not approved any. As a result, the agency says, every vaping product sold in the United States—including myriad e-liquids, devices, and parts—is now "subject to enforcement action at the FDA's discretion."

Seven years after the FDA officially declared its intention to regulate e-cigarettes as "tobacco products," in other words, the entire industry remains in legal limbo, existing solely thanks to the agency's enforcement discretion and limited resources. [...]