FDA Seizes Over $700,000 Worth of Unauthorized E-Cigarette Products

A joint operation with the DOJ removed over 45,000 unauthorized products from the U.S. supply chain.

May 01, 2024

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in coordination with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), announced that the U.S. Marshals Service seized unauthorized e-cigarette products valued at more than $700,000.

According to the FDA, the e-cigarettes were located in a warehouse in Alhambra, California, and are believed to be owned by several California-based distributors. The seized products were mostly flavored, disposable e-cigarette products, including brands such as Puff Bar/Puff, Elf Bar/EB Design, Esco Bar, Kuz, Smok, and Pixi.

The joint action represents the first time FDA and DOJ have seized tobacco products in coordination with the U.S. Marshals Service. In total, the effort resulted in the seizure of more than 45,000 unauthorized e-cigarettes estimated to be worth approximately $703,000, FDA said.

According to the FDA, the seizure initially targeted products being held and sold by MDM Group, a distributor doing business as Eliquidstop.com. FDA issued a warning letter to MDM Group in May 2023, for offering unauthorized, flavored e-cigarette products for sale or distribution. In January 2024, FDA conducted a follow-up inspection of the firm and determined that it continued to commercially market its illegal products. While conducting the seizure at MDM’s facility, the agencies were informed that several firms may have an ownership interest in the unauthorized e-cigarettes seized.

As of April 2024, FDA has issued approximately 670 warning letters to firms for manufacturing and/or distributing illegal e-cigarette products and issued more than 550 warning letters to retailers for the sale of unauthorized e-cigarettes. The agency has also filed civil money penalty complaints against more than 50 e-cigarette manufacturers and more than 100 retailers for manufacture and/or sale of unauthorized new tobacco products, as well as complaints for permanent injunction against seven e-cigarette manufacturers.

Last week, the FDA issued complaints for civil money penalties against 20 brick-and-mortar retailers and two online retailers for the sale of unauthorized e-cigarettes, including Elf Bar, NACS Daily reported.

To date, FDA has granted marketing authorization to 23 tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products and devices that may be lawfully sold in the United States. Further information on tobacco products that may be legally marketed in the United States is available in FDA’s new Searchable Tobacco Products Database.