FDA Seeks Penalties Against 25 Retailers Selling Illegal E-Cigarettes

Agency files civil money penalty complaints against brick-and-mortar, online stores
Photograph: Shutterstock

The Food and Drug Administration has filed civil money penalty (CMP) complaints against 25 brick-and-mortar and online retailers—including some convenience stores—for the illegal sale of unauthorized Elf Bar, EB Design and other e-cigarette products.

The e-cigarette products that were the focus of these complaints are popular among youth, the FDA said. Findings from the 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey showed that Elf Bar was the most commonly used brand among middle and high school students who reported using e-cigarettes. Nearly 57% of current e-cigarette users who took the survey reported using Elf Bar. Esco Bars came in as the second most popular at 21.6%, the survey found.

The FDA had warned these retailers to stop selling unauthorized tobacco products, and during follow-up inspections, the agency found the retailers had not corrected the violations, the agency said. Those retailers include Key’s Convenience/Conoco, Campti, Louisiana; Hop and Shop 3/Sunoco, Atoka, Oklahoma; 7-Eleven/Conoco, Denver; and more. A full list of retailers that received CMP complaints can be found on the FDA’s website.

The complaints seek the maximum civil money penalty of $19,192 for a single violation from each retailer, the FDA said. Retailers must pay the fine, enter into a settlement agreement, request an extension or file an answer and request a hearing within 30 days after receiving the complaint, the agency said.

The FDA has filed 67 CMPs against retailers for the sale of unauthorized e-cigarettes. It has also filed CMP complaints against tobacco product manufactures.

Want to learn more about the tobacco category? Check out our event CRU in Nashville Feb. 28-March 1, 2024. Sponsors can gain 15 one-to-one meetings with qualified retailers.

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