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. These retailers sold Luckee Vape Daniels brands, which are flavored, disposable e-cigarette products that come in a variety of common alcoholic drink flavors that may be appealing to young people, including icy pina colada, frozen strawberry daiquiri, frozen mangorita, and watermelon martini.
Data from the 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey indicate that disposable products are the most commonly used type of e-cigarettes among U.S. middle and high school students. Among current youth e-cigarette users, approximately 9 in 10 reported using flavors, with fruit flavors being the most popular (63.4%) and about one in 14 (7.2%) reporting use of products with alcoholic drink flavors.
“FDA is committed to taking action across the supply chain, including among retailers, to remove unauthorized tobacco products from the marketplace,” said Brian King, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “This includes continued monitoring of the online marketplace to identify and combat against emerging products of concern.”
The retailers receiving the warning letters sold or distributed e-cigarette products in the United States that lack authorization from FDA to legally market a new tobacco product, in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. In addition to the specified products mentioned in the warning letters, the retailers are warned to address any violations that are the same as or similar to those stated therein, and promptly take any necessary actions to bring the tobacco products that they offer for sale in the United States into compliance with the law. The retailers receiving the warning letters are given 15 working days to respond with the steps they will take to correct any violations and to prevent future violations. Failure to promptly correct the violations can result in additional FDA actions such as an injunction, seizure, and/or civil money penalties.
Today’s warning letters are a part of FDA’s continued actions against manufacturers, distributors, importers and retailers of unauthorized tobacco products, including online tobacco product sales in the United States. As of December 2023, FDA has issued over 650 warning letters to firms for manufacturing and/or distributing e-cigarette products that lacked marketing authorization from the FDA and issued more than 400 warning letters to retailers for the sale of unauthorized e-cigarettes. FDA has also filed civil money penalty complaints against 39 e-cigarette manufacturers and 67 retailers, as well as filed seven complaints for permanent injunctions against firms marketing unauthorized e-cigarettes.