Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations
Department of Health and Human Services
|Public Health Service|
Food and Drug Administration
|Center for Tobacco Products|
9200 Corporate Boulevard
Rockville, MD 20850-3229
MAY 16 2011
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently reviewed the websites http://www.cheapcigarettesworld.com, http://www.cheapcigarettes24.biz, http://www.cheap-24h.com, http://www.yourcigarettesstore.com, and http://www.getdiscountcigarettes.com, and determined that the cigarette products listed there are offered for sale to U.S. customers. FDA believes these websites are all affiliated because they all have the same contact phone number, 1-845-228-8139. Under section 201(rr) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. § 321(rr)), as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, these products are tobacco products because they are made or derived from tobacco and intended for human consumption. Certain tobacco products, including cigarettes, are subject to FDA jurisdiction under section 901(b) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387a(b)).
FDA has determined that your “Marlboro Gold (Lights)” cigarettes are adulterated under section 902(8) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387b(8)) because you promote them as modified risk tobacco products without an FDA order in effect that permits such promotion. Additionally, FDA has determined that your Kiss Fresh Apple, Kiss Strawberry, Rich Aroma Apple, and Rich Aroma Rum & Cherry cigarettes are adulterated under section 902(5) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387b(5)) or misbranded under section 903(a)(1) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387c(a)(1)). You can find the FD&C Act through links on FDA’s homepage at http://www.fda.gov.
You describe a product that you offer for sale as light by referring to them as such in product advertising and adding the qualifier “Lights” to the product name. Specifically, our review of your websites revealed that you offer for sale Marlboro Gold cigarettes, which you identify as “Marlboro Gold (Lights) Cigarettes.” This product is offered for sale on all of the websites listed above except for http://www.cheapcigarettes24.biz.
A tobacco product with a label, labeling, or advertising that uses the descriptor “light,” “mild,” or “low,” or similar descriptors, is a “modified risk tobacco product” under section 911(b)(2) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387k(b)(2)). Under section 911(a) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387k(a)), no person may introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any modified risk tobacco product without an FDA order in effect under section 911(g) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387k(g)). Because your website uses the descriptor “Light” for the above-listed product, the product is a modified risk tobacco product. Because the product is offered for sale in the United States without an order in effect under section 911(g) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387k(g)), the product is adulterated under section 902(8) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387(b)(8)).
Additionally, our review of your websites revealed that you offer for sale the following cigarettes: Kiss Fresh Apple, Kiss Strawberry, Rich Aroma Apple, and Rich Aroma Rum & Cherry, which are purported to contain an artificial or natural flavor that is a characterizing flavor of the product. Section 907(a)(1)(A) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387g(a)(1)(A)) provides:
[A] cigarette or any of its component parts (including the tobacco, filter, or paper) shall not contain, as a constituent (including a smoke constituent) or additive, an artificial or natural flavor (other than tobacco or menthol) or an herb or spice, including strawberry, grape, orange, clove, cinnamon, pineapple, vanilla, coconut, licorice, cocoa, chocolate, cherry, or coffee, that is a characterizing flavor of the tobacco product or tobacco smoke.
As of September 22, 2009, cigarettes marketed and sold in the United States in violation of this provision are adulterated under section 902(5) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387b(5)). Thus, your flavored cigarettes are adulterated.
If, however, these cigarettes do not contain a characterizing flavor, they are misbranded under section 903(a)(1) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387c(a)(1)) as their labeling is false and misleading because it makes the representation that the products contain the characterizing flavors apple, strawberry, and rum & cherry.
You should immediately correct the violations stated above and take any necessary actions to bring your tobacco products into compliance with the FD&C Act. The violations discussed in this letter do not necessarily constitute an exhaustive list, and it is your responsibility to ensure that your tobacco products on these websites, or any other websites you own, operate, or control, comply with the applicable provisions of the FD&C Act. Failure to ensure full compliance with the FD&C Act may result in FDA initiating further action without notice, including, but not limited to, civil money penalties, no-tobacco-sale orders, criminal prosecution, seizure, and/or injunction. Please note that adulterated and misbranded tobacco products offered for importation into the United States are subject to detention and refusal of admission.
Please submit a written response to this letter within 15 working days from the date of receipt describing your corrective actions, including the dates on which you discontinued the violative promotion, advertising, sale, and/or distribution of these tobacco products.
Please address your response to:
PAL-WL Response, Office of Compliance and Enforcement
FDA Center for Tobacco Products
9200 Corporate Boulevard
c/o Document Control Center
Rockville, Maryland 20850
If you have any questions about the content of this letter, please contact Ele Ibarra-Pratt at (301) 796-9235.
Ann Simoneau, J.D.
Office of Compliance and Enforcement
Center for Tobacco Products
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14150 NE 20th St. – F1
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