On this page:
- Which Products Are Subject to FDA Enforcement Action?
- FDA’s Tobacco Products Enforcement Priorities
- Warning Letters
- Civil Money Penalty (CMP) Complaints
- Import Alerts
To protect the health of future generations, FDA closely monitors industry compliance with tobacco laws and regulations under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and takes action when violations occur. FDA regulates tobacco products containing nicotine from any source, including non-tobacco nicotine (NTN), such as synthetic nicotine.
Before introducing a new tobacco product to the U.S. market, a company must submit a marketing application, such as a premarket tobacco product application (PMTA), to FDA and receive authorization.
New tobacco products on the market without the required premarket authorization are adulterated and misbranded under the FD&C Act and are subject to FDA enforcement action.
To date, FDA has authorized 23 tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products and devices. These are the only e-cigarette products that currently may be lawfully sold in the U.S.
Currently, no NTN product has received marketing authorization.
Enforcing against unauthorized ENDS products, including unauthorized products popular with youth, are among our highest enforcement priorities.
A new tobacco product must have FDA authorization before it can be legally marketed, and generally, products without authorization are at risk of enforcement action.
FDA has not adopted a broad policy of enforcement discretion regarding tobacco products without marketing authorization. For the vast majority of unauthorized e-cigarettes on the market today, the pendency of an application does not create a legal safe harbor to sell that product. There are a few tobacco products that have received a marketing denial order (MDO) that are under further agency review and for which FDA has stated the Agency does not intend to pursue enforcement action during the pendency of the re-review. In addition, in a very limited number of instances, some courts have granted stays of MDOs pending judicial review in order to maintain the status quo, or FDA has administratively stayed MDOs. In those particular instances, FDA does not intend to take enforcement action.
The decision whether to take enforcement action will be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account youth use and other risk factors. Before taking any such action, the Agency intends to follow its usual compliance and enforcement practices and will generally issue a warning letter before initiating enforcement action (such as civil money penalties, seizure, or injunction) and afford the recipient an opportunity to respond (although there is no legal requirement that FDA send a warning letter before the agency can initiate an enforcement action).
Generally, when companies are manufacturing, selling, and/or distributing unauthorized tobacco products in the United States, FDA will typically first issue a warning letter in an attempt to achieve voluntary compliance with the law.
If you have received a warning letter, you should follow the instructions provided to respond to the warning letter within 15 working days. Additional compliance education and information, including information about responding to warning letters issued to tobacco manufacturers for violations, are available on FDA’s Tobacco Compliance Webinars page. If you have questions, contact the Center for Tobacco Products at CTPCompliance@fda.hhs.gov.
How Do I Find Warning Letters Issued to Manufacturers, Importers, and Distributors of Unauthorized Tobacco Products?
To date, FDA has issued approximately 660 warning letters to firms for manufacturing, selling, and/or distributing new tobacco products without marketing authorization from FDA, with more than 100 of these warning letters to firms for unauthorized non-tobacco nicotine products.
On FDA’s warning letters page, you can find all of these warning letters by entering “Center for Tobacco Products” in the “Issuing Office” box in the “Filter by” section of the search tool.
In January 2024, FDA issued warning letters to 14 online retailers for selling and marketing unauthorized disposable tobacco products, including Elf Bar/EB Design and Lava Plus e-cigarette products. To date, FDA has issued more than 440 warning letters to retailers, including brick and mortar and online, for selling unauthorized tobacco products. For more information about warning letters issued to brick and mortar retailers, use CTP’s Compliance Check Inspection database. There you may search by several fields including tobacco retailer name, city, state, zip code, inspection result, or decision date.
FDA continues to issue warning letters, when appropriate, to retailers that have failed to comply with the FD&C Act and applicable regulations. Recent examples include:
- On Dec. 20, 2023, FDA issued warning letters to three online retailers for selling and/or distributing unauthorized e-cigarettes that imitate packaging for bottles of alcohol.
- In November 2023, FDA issued warning letters to seven online retailers for selling and/or distributing unauthorized e-cigarettes packaged to look like youth-appealing toys and drink containers, including milk cartons, soft drink bottles, and slushies.
- On September 28, 2023, FDA issued 168 warning letters to brick-and-mortar retailers for illegally selling Elf Bar/EB Design products.
- On September 14, 2023, FDA issued warning letters to 15 online retailers and 3 manufacturers and/or distributors for illegally selling or distributing unauthorized e-cigarette products, including disposable products, marketed under the brand names Elf Bar, EB Design, Lava, Cali, Bang, and Kangertech. These products were identified through rapid surveillance and a data-driven approach to investigations.
- On June 22, 2023, the agency announced it issued warning letters to 189 retailers for illegally selling unauthorized products, specifically Elf Bar and Esco Bars products that appeal to youth.
- On May 31, 2023, FDA announced that it had issued warning letters to 30 retailers, including one distributor, for illegally selling unauthorized tobacco products, specifically various types of Puff and Hyde disposable e-cigarettes, two of the most commonly reported brands used by youth e-cigarette users in 2022.
To date, the FDA has authorized 23 tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products and devices. These are the only e-cigarette products that currently may be lawfully sold in the U.S. The distribution or sale of unlawfully marketed products is subject to enforcement action.
FDA has authority to assess CMPs for violations of the FD&C Act relating to tobacco products. This includes failing to obtain the required marketing authorization for new tobacco products.
In general, penalties for violating requirements of the FD&C Act may not exceed the statutory maximum set by law. Currently, the maximum penalty amount for violating a requirement of the FD&C Act relating to tobacco products is $20,678 for a single violation. FDA intends to seek the maximum allowed by law in CMP cases relating to unauthorized tobacco products. However, the FD&C Act also allows for an enhanced penalty amount for certain intentional violations relating to tobacco products.
Which Manufacturers Have Received CMP Complaints for Violations Related to Unauthorized Tobacco Products?
On February 21, 2023, CTP filed CMP complaints against four manufacturers for manufacturing and selling tobacco products that lacked the required marketing authorization. This was the first time CTP filed CMP complaints against tobacco product manufacturers for their failure to comply with the premarket review requirements.
CTP continues to file CMP actions when appropriate against manufacturers that have failed to comply with the FD&C Act and applicable regulations. To date, FDA has filed CMP complaints against 50 manufacturers.
- Westside Vapor LLC doing business as Vapor Station LLC
- Vertigo Vapor, Inc. doing business as Baton Vapor
- Best Shop for Vapors LLC doing business as Beachside Vapors / BSV Vape
- Jayde’s Vapor Lounge Inc. doing business as Jayde’s Vapor Lounge
- Pink Spot Vapors, Inc. doing business as Pink Spot Vapors
- Steam Puff Vapor LLC doing business as The Vapery 2
- Verdict Brands LLC doing business as Verdict Vapors
- E-Cig Central LLC doing business as E-Cig Central
- Unlit Vapor Shoppe LLC doing business as Unlit Vapor Shoppe LLC
- Vapor Boss LLC doing business as Vapor Boss
- TVC Management Corp doing business as The Vapor Chef
- White Horse Vapor Stores LLC doing business as White Horse Vapor
- Vape Craft Inc. doing business as Vape Craft
- MJ Asset Holdings LLC doing business as Marco’s Vapor
- D and J Vapors LLC doing business as D and J Vapors
- PRV Enterprises LLC doing business as Phoenix Rising Vapor
- Vapor Dynasty LLC doing business as Vapor Dynasty
- Vapor Candy Inc. doing business as The Vape Stop
- E-Cig Vape Lounge LLP doing business as E-Cig Vape Lounge
- E-CIG USA INC doing business as Hutchinson Tobacco and Cigars
- Southbound Vapes LLC doing business as Southbound Vapes
- Vapor Plus OK LLC doing business as Vapor Plus OK
- Juicemafia Inc. doing business as Ecig-Works
- Magical Creations by D LLC doing business as Hookies and Bookies
- YVL, LLC doing business as Yogi’s Vape Lounge
- BLB7 LLC doing business as The Vape Mall
- Texas Tobacco Barn LLC doing business as TXVapeBarn
- Juicemafia Inc. doing business as Ecig-Works
- DIY Vapor Supply LLC doing business as DIY Vapor Supply
- Go Vapor #2 LLC doing business as Go Vapor
- Bradley Jaramillo LLC doing business as Trinity Vapor Lounge
- Kokomo Pure Vapors LLC doing business as Kokomo Pure Vapors
- Victory Vapor Inc. doing business as Victory Vapor
- Big Chief Vapor Products LLC doing business as Big Chief Vapor Products
- Vape N Juice Inc. doing business as Vape-N-Juice
- 5th and Nine Vape Co. LLC doing business as 5th and Nine Alternatives Co.
- GO VAPOR LLC doing business as GV1
- Sin City Vapor LLC doing business as Sin City Vapor
- Lynda’s Legacy LLC doing business as Chaney’s Tobacco
- Drive Thru Vapors LLC doing business as Drive Thru Vapors
- Lynda’s Legacy LLC doing business as Chaney’s Tobacco Station
- RTP Vapors LLC doing business as RTP Vapor
- Cloud 9 Systems LLC doing business as Cloud 9 Vapor
- Singing Hawk LLC doing business as Sin City III
- Sabor Vapors LLC doing business as Sabor Vapors
- Hothead Vapor LLC doing business as Hothead Vapor
- BAM Group LLC doing business as VapEscape
- Great American Vapes LLC doing business as Great American Vapes
- The Vapor Corner Inc. doing business as Vapor Corner Inc., The Vapor Corner, and Vapor Corner
- 13 Vapor Co. LLC doing business as 13 Vapor
Which Retailers Have Received CMP Complaints for Violations Related to Unauthorized Tobacco Products?
To date, CTP has issued CMP complaints against 84 brick and mortar and 4 online retailers for selling unauthorized tobacco products for the maximum statutory amount.
Please note: CTP provides access to information regarding the results of brick and mortar retailer inspections on CTP’s Compliance Check Inspection database. This information includes links to CMP complaints issued to retailers. The Compliance Check Inspection database is updated monthly, so recent complaints may not yet be available for viewing.
To find CMPs issued to brick and mortar retailers, use CTP’s Compliance Check Inspection database. There you may search by several fields including tobacco retailer name, city, state, zip code, inspection result, or decision date.
Tobacco products imported or offered for import into the United States must comply with all the applicable requirements of the FDA’s laws and regulations. In coordination with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), FDA conducts import screening to ensure that tobacco products imported or offered for import into the United States comply with all applicable requirements of FDA’s laws and regulations.
An import alert places products that appear to be in violation of the FDA's laws and regulations on the red list, which makes them subject to Detention Without Physical Examination (DWPE) and allows the FDA to detain a product without physically examining it at the time of entry.
An injunction is a civil judicial process initiated to stop current violations of the law and prevent them going forward, halt the flow of violative products in interstate commerce, and correct the conditions that caused the violation to occur.
Which Manufacturers Has CTP Initiated Permanent Injunction Actions Against Relating to Their Continued Manufacture of Unauthorized Tobacco Products?
On Oct. 18, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, filed complaints for permanent injunction in federal district courts against six e-cigarette manufacturers for continued violations relating to their manufacture, sale, and/or distribution of unauthorized new tobacco products. These cases represent the first time FDA has initiated injunction proceedings to enforce the premarket review requirements for new tobacco products. FDA will continue to pursue injunction actions when appropriate.
- Vape Junkie Ejuice in the Middle District of Florida
- Morin Enterprises Inc. doing business as E-Cig Crib in the District of Minnesota
- Soul Vapor LLC in the Southern District of West Virginia
- Super Vape’z LLC in the Western District of Washington
- Vapor Craft LLC in the Middle District of Georgia
- Lucky’s Convenience & Tobacco LLC doing business as Lucky’s Vape & Smoke Shop in the District of Kansas
- Seditious Vapours LLC doing business as Butt Out in the District of Arizona