WASHINGTON, DC (WVNS) — The United States Department of Justice announced complaints were filed against six different companies and related individuals to stop the illegal sale and making of unauthorized vaping products.
Court papers filed in U.S. District Court contain statements that the government alleges that the defendants illegally made and sold electronic nicotine delivery system, also known as ENDS products, including finished “e-liquids,” or liquids that contain nicotine and colorings, flavorings and/or other suspicious and questionable ingredients.
The complaints in the documents also allege that the defendants caused tobacco products to become tainted and misbranded while held for sale after shipment of one or more of their components in interstate commerce, and that they continued to make, sell, and distribute the tainted and misbranded tobacco products despite receiving warning letters from the FDA that what they were doing was illegal.
These legal actions taking place are the first to enjoin manufacturers of these ENDS products for violations of the premarket review requirements of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
“These cases are an important step in stopping the illegal sale of unauthorized electronic nicotine delivery system products. The Department of Justice will continue to work closely with FDA to stop the distribution of illegal, unauthorized tobacco products.”Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, Head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.
“Today’s enforcement actions represent a significant step for the FDA in preventing tobacco product manufacturers from violating the law. The FDA is committed to acting swiftly when we are made aware of these violations. We will not stand by as manufacturers repeatedly break the law, especially after being afforded multiple opportunities to comply.”Brian King, Ph.D., M.P.H., Director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products
“It’s important that businesses — large and small — take the necessary steps to comply with federal regulations that are put in place to ultimately protect the consumer, especially with regard to potentially harmful products. Our office will enforce statutes intended to keep the citizens of the Middle District of Georgia safe.”U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary for the Middle District of Georgia
“Not only were the Super Vape’z shops selling potentially adulterated tobacco products, they sold vapes to underage kids. The owners were told repeatedly that they needed to obtain FDA approval for their tobacco products, but they refused to take that step. The Department of Justice is filing suit to protect the public.”U.S. Attorney Nick Brown for the Western District of Washington
The following lawsuits announced were filed against defendants in six states:
- Seditious Vapours LLC, a Phoenix-based company, and its owner Matthew D. Berger, filed in the District of Arizona
- Vapor Craft LLC, based in Columbus, Georgia, and its owner Melissa D. Anderson, filed in the Middle District of Georgia
- Lucky’s Convenience & Tobacco LLC, of Wichita, Kansas, and its majority owners Kevin H. Nguyen and Thomas Rogers, filed in the District of Kansas
- Morin Enterprises Inc. and its owner Kevin Morin, operating multiple locations in Minnesota, and filed in the District of Minnesota
- Super Vape’z LLC, based in Lakewood, Washington, and its co-owners Marco Hoffman and Heydee Hoffman, and general manager Judith A. Cramer, filed in the Western District of Washington
- Soul Vapor LLC, of Princeton, West Virginia, and its owner Aurelius Jeffrey, filed in the Southern District of West Virginia
All of these defendants involved made and sold ENDS products after receiving documents from the FDA of the need to first obtain FDA marketing authorizations. These defendants did not even try to attempt to obtain FDA authorization for their tobacco products.