- Delivery Method:
- Electronic Mail
- Issuing Office:
- Center for Tobacco Products
| || |
Department of Health and Human Services
|Food and Drug Administration|
Center for Tobacco Products
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20993
AUG 18, 2015
VIA Electronic Mail
The Center for Tobacco Products of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently reviewed the website http://www.onlycigs.net and determined that your cigarette 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 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 several of your cigarette products are adulterated under section 902(8) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387b(8)) because they are modified risk tobacco products sold or distributed without an FDA order in effect that permits such sale or distribution. Additionally, FDA has determined that several of your cigarette products 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)) or section 903(a)(7)(A) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387c(a)(7)(A)) because they purport to contain a natural or artificial characterizing flavor.
Modified Risk Tobacco Product Violations
Our review of the website, http://www.onlycigs.net, revealed that you sell or distribute cigarette products which are listed or described as being “Lights,” “Ultra Lights,” or using similar descriptors. Specifically, you sell or distribute cigaretteproducts under the heading “Lights Cigarettes,” for example: Bond Special Selection, Camel Blue, Chesterfield Classic Blue, Davidoff Gold, Dunhill Fine Cut Dark Blue, Kent Blue Futura Nr. 8, Kiss Dessert (mini), Lucky Strike Original Silver, Marlboro Gold, Monte Carlo Blue 100s, Parliament Aqua Blue, Sobranie Blue, West Black Compact, Winston Blue, Magna Balanced Blue, More Balanced Blue, Pall Mall Blue, Richmond Cherry Gold Super Slims 100s, and Viceroy Blue. Additionally, the website sells Pall Mall cigarettes described as “Pall Mall Lights (Blue).”
Our review of the website also revealed that you sell or distribute cigarette products under the heading “Ultra Lights Cigarettes,” for example: Bond Fine Selection, Camel Black mini, Chesterfield Classic Bronze, Kent HDi Silver, L&M Silver Label, Parliament Silver Blue, Vogue Super Slims Lilas 100’s, West Fusion White, Davidoff Blue, Dunhill Master Blend, Marlboro Silver, More Subtle Silver, Pall Mall Azure, Richmond Platinum Filter, Sobranie Gold, and Viceroy Silver.
A tobacco product with a label, labeling, or advertising that uses the descriptor “light,” “mild,” or “low,” or a similar descriptor, is a “modified risk tobacco product” under section 911(b)(2)(A)(ii) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387k(b)(2)(A)(ii)). 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)). A product that is in violation of section 911(a) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387k(a)) is adulterated under section 902(8) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387b(8)).
The above listed products are modified risk tobacco products because the website uses the descriptor “Lights,” “Ultra Lights,” or similar descriptors to describe these products. Because these products are sold or distributed to customers in the United States without an appropriate FDA order in effect under section 911(g) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387k(g)), these products are adulterated under section 902(8) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387b(8)).
Flavored Cigarette Violations
Additionally,our review of the website, http://www.onlycigs.net , revealed that you offer for sale or distribute the following cigarette products, for example: Aroma Rich Apple, Aroma Rich Rum Cherry, Kiss Mohito (mini), Kiss Super Slims Clubnichka 100s (strawberry), Kiss Super Slims Fresh Apple 100s, and Richmond Cherry, which arepurported to contain an artificial or natural flavor that is a characterizing flavor of the products. 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 . . . that is a characterizing flavor of the tobacco product or tobacco smoke.
Cigarettes that are distributed or 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 cigarette products are adulterated under section 902(5) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387b(5)).
If, however, the cigarette products 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)) or section 903(a)(7)(A) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387c(a)(7)(A)) as theirlabeling or advertising is false or misleading because it makes the representation that the products contain, for example, apple, rum cherry, mojito, strawberry, or cherryas a characterizing flavor of the tobacco products.
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 on this website, on any other websites (including e-commerce, social networking, or search engine websites), and in any other media in which you advertise, 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, RW1500362, 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.
Ann Simoneau, J.D.
Office of Compliance and Enforcement
Center for Tobacco Products
VIA Electronic Mail