• May 28, 2024

U.S. Marshals Seize $700,000 in Unauthorized Vapes

 U.S. Marshals Seize $700,000 in Unauthorized Vapes
Photo: APchanel

The U.S. Marshals Service seized more than 45,000 unauthorized e-cigarette products valued at more than $700,000 in California. 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.

“FDA has been unequivocally clear that we are committed to using the full scope of our enforcement tools—including seizures—to hold those who peddle unauthorized e-cigarettes accountable,” said Brian King, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, in a statement. “The writing is on the wall for those in the tobacco product supply chain who fail to heed the law.”

This action represents the first time the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have seized tobacco products in coordination with the U.S. Marshals Service.

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, the FDA had 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.