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WARNING LETTER

Mars Cigars & Pipes MARCS-CMS 554974 —

Product:
Tobacco
Cigars, Cigarillos, Little Filtered Cigars

Recipient:
Recipient Name
Michael A Rutt
Mars Cigars & Pipes
Mars Cigars & Pipes

628 Market Street

Lemoyne, PA 17043
United States

Issuing Office:
Center for Tobacco Products

United States


 

MAY 21, 2018
VIA UPS and Electronic Mail
                       
Mars Cigars & Pipes
Attn: Michael A Rutt
628 Market Street
Lemoyne, PA 17043
marscigars@marscigars.com
 
 
WARNING LETTER
 
Dear Michael A Rutt:
 
The Center for Tobacco Products of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently reviewed the website http://www.marscigars.com and determined that the smokeless tobacco products listed there are offered for sale or distribution to customers in the United States. Under section 201(rr) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. § 321(rr)), as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (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 smokeless tobacco, are subject to FDA jurisdiction under section 901(b) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387a(b)).
 
FDA has determined that several smokeless tobacco products are misbranded under section 903(a)(1) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387c(a)(1)) and/or section 903(a)(7)(A) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387c(a)(7)(A)) because the webpages regarding smokeless tobacco products fail to include any health warning label statements.   
 
Health Warning Statement Violations
 
Our review of the website http://www.marscigars.com revealed that the following smokeless tobacco products that you offer for sale or distribute in the United States do not include any health warning statements: GH [Gawith Hoggarth] – Black Cherry Twist Unsliced, GH [Gawith Hoggarth] – Black Irish X Unsliced, GH [Gawith Hoggarth] – Black Twist Sliced, GH [Gawith Hoggarth] – Brown Irish X Unsliced, GH [Gawith Hoggarth] – Brown Twist Sliced, GH [Gawith Hoggarth] – Sweet Coconut Twist Unsliced, GH [Gawith Hoggarth] Sweet Maple Twist Unsliced, GH [Gawith Hoggarth] – Sweet Rum Twist Unsliced, and GH [Gawith Hoggarth] – Whiskey Twist Unsliced. Section 3(b) of the Comprehensive Smokeless Tobacco Health Education Act of 1986 (Smokeless Tobacco Act) (15 U.S.C. § 4402), as amended by section 204 of the Tobacco Control Act, requires that advertisements for smokeless tobacco products bear one of the following health warning label statements:
 
WARNING: This product can cause mouth cancer.
 
WARNING: This product can cause gum disease and tooth loss.
 
WARNING: This product is not a safe alternative to cigarettes.
 
WARNING: Smokeless tobacco is addictive.
 
A tobacco product is misbranded under section 903(a)(1) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387c(a)(1)) if its labeling is false or misleading in any particular. In addition, a tobacco product is misbranded under section 903(a)(7)(A) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387c(a)(7)(A)) if, in the case of any tobacco product distributed or offered for sale in any State, its advertising is false or misleading in any particular.  Under section 201(n) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 321(n)), in determining whether labeling and/or advertising is misleading, the agency considers, among other things, the failure to reveal material facts concerning the consequences that may result from the customary or usual use of the product. 
 
Because the webpages regarding smokeless tobacco products do not include any health warnings for the smokeless tobacco products identified above, these smokeless tobacco products are misbranded under section 903(a)(1) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387c(a)(1)) and/or section 903(a)(7)(A) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387c(a)(7)(A)).   
 
In addition, we note that you are required to follow all other applicable federal laws and regulations.  For example, section 3(b)(3) of the Smokeless Tobacco Act (15 U.S.C. § 4402) requires the quarterly rotation of warning label statements on advertising for each brand of smokeless tobacco.  Quarterly rotation must be done in accordance with a plan submitted by the tobacco product manufacturer, importer, distributor, or retailer and approved by FDA. Section 3 of the Smokeless Tobacco Act also mandates that advertisements for smokeless tobacco products comply with certain requirements, including those regarding warning label statements and format.
 
Conclusion and Requested Actions
 
The violations discussed in this letter do not necessarily constitute an exhaustive list. You should immediately correct the violations that are referenced above, as well as violations that are the same as or similar to those stated above, and take any necessary actions to bring your tobacco products into compliance with the FD&C Act. 
 
It is your responsibility to ensure that your tobacco products and all related labeling and/or advertising this website, on any other websites (including e-commerce, social networking, or search engine websites), in any other media in which you advertise, and in any retail establishments comply with each applicable provision of the FD&C Act and FDA’s implementing regulations.  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 import 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 labeling, advertising, sale, and/or distribution of these tobacco products and your plan for maintaining compliance with the FD&C Act. You can find the FD&C Act through links on FDA’s homepage at http://www.fda.gov.
 
Please note your reference number, RW1800882, in your response and direct your response to the following address:
 
DPAL-WL Response, Office of Compliance and Enforcement
FDA Center for Tobacco Products
c/o Document Control Center
Building 71, Room G335
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002
  
If you have any questions about the content of this letter, please contact Ele Ibarra-Pratt at (301) 796-9235 or via email at CTPCompliance@fda.hhs.gov.   
 
 
Sincerely,
/S/ 
Ann Simoneau, J.D.
Director
Office of Compliance and Enforcement
Center for Tobacco Products
  
 
 
VIA UPS and Electronic Mail
 
cc:
 
Mars Cigars & Pipes
Attn: Michael A Rutt
6 E Center St 
Elysburg, PA 17824
 
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