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FDA Seizes E-Cigarettes Worth $700,000 From California Warehouse

The FDA ended April, already a busy month of enforcement action, with the seizure of unauthorized vapes worth nearly three-quarters of a million dollars from a distribution warehouse in Alhambra, California. 

The seizure, planned in coordination with the Department of Justice and, for the first time, the U.S. Marshals Service, was initially targeting unauthorized products being held and sold only by MDM Group. The distributor, trading under the name, had been warned in May 2023 for selling e-cigarettes that hadn’t been granted marketing authorization but continued to do so. A failed follow-up inspection in January prompted the federal agencies to initiate this seizure. 

However, information obtained during the search of the MDM Group facility suggests that several other companies have an ownership interest in the illegal vapes seized. None of these suspected owners were named in the FDA announcement. 

Brian King, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said: 

“The FDA has been unequivocally clear that we are committed to using the full scope of our enforcement tools—including seizures—to hold those who peddle unauthorized e-cigarettes accountable. The writing is on the wall for those in the tobacco product supply chain who fail to heed the law.”

In total, more than 45,000 vape products were taken, estimated to be worth approximately $700,000. A significant number, but one that pales in comparison to the December 2023 seizure of $18 million worth of vapes from LAX. 

The seized e-cigarettes were predominantly flavored disposables from brands like Elf Bar/EB Design, Puff Bar, Esco Bar, Kuz, Smok, and Pixi. Many of these brands featured heavily in the 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey as favorites among underage vapers. It’s not clear if the vapes seized are legitimate (albeit unauthorized) or counterfeit products.

Jill Atencio, acting director of the Office of Compliance and Enforcement in the Center for Tobacco Products, stated: 

“Removing unauthorized tobacco products from the supply chain is one of many enforcement tools we can use. The FDA will continue to take appropriate action across the entire supply chain against unauthorized tobacco products and against those manufacturing, distributing, importing, or selling unauthorized e-cigarette products – especially those most appealing to youth.”

Authorized E-cigarette Products

To see which e-cigarette products are currently authorized for sale in the United States, you can check out the FDAs new searchable Tobacco Products Database. It won’t take long as there are only 23 authorized vape products, a number that has remained unchanged for the last three years. 

Russ Ware Author Picture 2

Russ Ware

Russ is a UK-based Staff Writer for Versed Vaper who has been in journalism for more than two decades, having previously written for tech publications like Lifewire. He tried vaping in 2015 but the setup that he was using wasn’t quite right and so he didn’t enjoy it at first. However, after going back and forth between vaping and smoking for a couple of years, he started experimenting with different coils, power levels, and mixing his own vape juice. The rest is history and Russ has been a devoted vaper ever since. Russ is a passionate writer and he produces reviews, news, and well-researched informational articles for our site. When Russ is not testing or writing about vapes, he likes to travel, read true crime, and eat anything with lots of chilies.

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