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Tobacco

FDA Issues Warnings to Retailers on E-Cig Sales

Agency starts enforcement of new restrictions on flavored cartridges
Photograph: Shutterstock

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has begun enforcement of its new restrictions on flavored vaping cartridges, issuing 22 warning letters to retailers that included multiple 7-Eleven stores and major oil-branded gas stations, the agency said.

Back in January, the FDA issued its final guidance on how it would enforce its authority over electronic cigarettes, saying it would not permit the sale of flavored vaping cartridges—with the exception of menthol and tobacco flavors—until manufacturers went through the agency’s premarket tobacco application (PMTA) process and received market authorization. The deadline to submit PMTAs is May 12, 2020.

The warning letters were sent to manufacturers and retailers, some with well-known names such as 7-Eleven and Shell, and are the first of what the agency said will be a series of ongoing actions consistent with its recently issued policies.

“We are committed to holding retailers and manufacturers accountable for marketing and sales practices that have led to increased youth accessibility and appeal of e-cigarettes,” said Stephen Hahn, the FDA’s newly appointed commissioner. “We will be using our regulatory authority to address youth e-cigarette use by focusing on the products that are most popular among kids.”

Hahn said the agency will not hesitate to pursue “bad actors” and expect to take more actions soon.

The FDA set a deadline of Feb. 6, 2020, for retailers to stop selling flavored vape cartridges or to box up product for return to distributors or manufacturers by that date.

The following manufacturers received warning letters:

  • ProSmoke (prosmokestore.com), Bloomingdale, Ill.
  • Apollo Future Technology Inc., Livermore, Calif.
  • Global Tobacco LLC, Dallas
  • Premium Manufacturing Facility, Virginia Beach, Va.
  • WhiteLightning USA, Jacksonville, Fla.
  • United Tobacco Vapor Group, Alpharetta, Ga.

The following retailers received warning letters:

  • 7-Eleven (#35433J), Washington, D.C.
  • 7-Eleven, (#27905E), Washington, D.C.
  • 7-Eleven, Baltimore
  • 7-Eleven (#34577), Hialeah, Fla.
  • Chevron/Food Mart, Houston
  • CITGO/The Filling Station, Waupaca, Wis.
  • CITGO/Quik Mart, Stone Mountain, Ga.
  • Conoco, Aurora, Colo.
  • Covington Food Mart/Shell, Lithonia, Ga.
  • Marathon, Arlington, Tenn.
  • Mobil, Mundelein, Ill.
  • Pilot Travel Center 149, Stanton, Tenn.
  • Shell, Houston
  • Shell, Stone Mountain, Ga.
  • Sunoco/Food Mart, Fort Myers, Fla.
  • Tiger Mart, Columbia, Mo.

The warning letters notify the retailers and manufacturers that selling or distributing electronic nicotine delivery systems without a marketing authorization order to customers in the United States is prohibited under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The FDA encourages retailers and distributors to communicate with their suppliers to discuss possible options for the unauthorized products in their inventory, the agency said.

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