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June 14, 20240

FDA and Justice Dept. Force Tiny Vape Manufacturer to Shut Down

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Jim McDonald

The FDA announced today that a small e-liquid manufacturer has entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice, agreeing to cease operations. It marks the eighth time the FDA and DOJ have used injunction proceedings to shut down small vape manufacturers.

The action was taken against Colorado-based Boosted LLC and its owner Cory Vigil. Boosted, which at one time employed more than a dozen people, has manufactured e-liquids for at least a decade. According to the Justice Department complaint against Boosted, the company ignored warning letters for selling unauthorized vape products.

“Those who flout the law are responsible for the consequences, and we are committed to using the full force of our authorities to hold them accountable,” said FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) Director Brian King in an FDA press release.

The consent decree was entered as a court order on June 12 by the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, according to the FDA. That was the same day King and a DOJ official appeared at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to defend their enforcement efforts against the vaping industry—and just two days after the agencies announced the formation of a Drug War-style multi-agency task force to crack down on vaping businesses.

"Manufacturers signing consent decrees basically admit guilt for previous actions, and agree to terms of punishment---including steep financial penalties---in advance for any future violations. "

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The consent decree is an agreement by Boosted and Vigil not to engage in manufacturing of “tobacco products” without first receiving FDA marketing authorization, allowing FDA to inspect their facilities, and receiving written FDA notice that they “appear to be in compliance with the law.” 

In exchange for agreeing to the terms of the decree, Boosted and Vigil will not face legal action by the federal agencies for previous violations. Manufacturers signing consent decrees basically admit guilt for previous actions, and agree to terms of punishment—including steep financial penalties—in advance for any future violations. 

According to the FDA, the Boosted consent decree “represents the ongoing collaboration among federal partners—which will continue and expand under FDA and DOJ’s newly announced task force—to address unauthorized e-cigarettes in the United States.”

In October 2022, the DOJ filed similar complaints against six small vape manufacturers, seeking injunctions in six separate U.S. district courts. In December 2023, the DOJ sought an injunction to shut down another tiny vaping company in Florida.

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Jim McDonald

Vaping since: 13 years

Favorite products:

Favorite flavors: RY4-style tobaccos, fruits

Expertise in: Political and legal challenges, tobacco control haters, moral panics

Jim McDonald

Smokers created vaping without help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and I believe vapers have the right to continue innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I’m a member of the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy

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