Pharmaceutical Nicotine Targeted By FDA

Klaus Kneale
by Klaus Kneale
February 19, 2013

Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of information to go on.  However, the following if likely something the electronic cigarette community would be interested in learning about.  Sounds like the FDA has been seizing shipments of pharmaceutical nicotine for undetermined reasons.

Tasty Vapor owner Geoff Braithwaite has confirmed that a shipment of 12 kilograms of pharmaceutical nicotine was seized.  That’s about 3 one-gallon jugs by our calculations.  According to Braithwaite, the seizure may have occurred because the content was mislabeled as multi-purpose cleaner.  But his company isn’t the only victim.

There are unconfirmed reports that many bigger companies have lost shipments to the FDA.  Among them possibly, pharmaceutical company Glaxosmithkline (makers of Nicorette gum), tobacco company R.J. Reynolds, and electronic cigarette vaporizing liquid supplier Johnson Creek.  A recent shipment to Johnson Creek that was seized is believed to have been around 240 kilograms (that about 550 pounds).

Initial rumors seemed to suggest that the FDA was targeting electronic cigarette company shipments as a way to slow down and impede growth of the industry.  However, it now appears that the FDA is targeting any pharmaceutical nicotine shipment and has been doing so since about November.  Some industry leaders in the e-cig world have yet to have this problem.  Others did not respond by the time of this post.

We’re continuing to dig for information.  Has the FDA decided all pharmaceutical nicotine is to be tested and checked out?  Or is there something more concerning at play (like, say, contamination) that the FDA isn’t talking about yet?  This is all conjecture right now.  Hopefully we’ll have more for you soon.

EDIT: Email contact from representatives at the FDA inform us that they are not aware of any seizures of pharmaceutical nicotine.

If you know anything about this topic, please don’t hesitate to email us this writer at


40 Responses to “Pharmaceutical Nicotine Targeted By FDA”

      chuckss on February 19th, 2013 7:51 pm

      Interesting, especially since they havent disclosed the reason for the seizures.

        sonicdsl on February 19th, 2013 9:37 pm

        Wow…they’re at it again! Someone needs to file a FIA to get the reasoning behind this. Sounds like what they were doing back in 2009 when seizing e-cigs before they got sued.

          mrcrunch08 on February 19th, 2013 10:11 pm

          This regulation stuff is getting insane. Vendors try to use the safest product and get their stuff taken. WTF!!!

            jazon on February 19th, 2013 10:53 pm

            I think the government and all its agency’s these days are bought and payed for by big tobacco,banks,oil and media company’s
            if anything does not include profit or affect’s there profit then they fight it tooth and nail until they can make it illegal or make it so heavily regulated that is is no longer profitable for anyone.

              ManuDawg on February 19th, 2013 11:14 pm

              Are they seizing shipments to vendors or also shipments to customers? I would have thought, other then price hikes due to panic buying and the laws of supply and demand, the FDA would not make a move until after deeming regulation. After the whole Smoking Everywhere & Njoy suit and ruling that the FDA must release shipments I would have thought they would make sure the law is behind them before they make a move.

                mongrel on February 19th, 2013 11:29 pm

                Well I’m already noticing some of the DIY vendors have been out of stock for too long. Being new to DIY, I’m not sure how normal that is.

                I sure as hell hope this is not the beginning of the end.

                  Ralph on February 20th, 2013 1:14 am

                  fda loves to be annoying and waste money

                    Michelle on February 20th, 2013 2:31 am

                    Blah Blah Blah!!!
                    Fear Media

                      Holden on February 20th, 2013 6:49 am

                      Huhh 😮

                        hallucinoJEN on February 20th, 2013 6:53 am

                        If the FDA is seizing nicotine from Big Pharma and Big Tobacco, then it’s probably not either one of their decisions. Why would they have their own shipments seized?

                        Thanks for the heads up, and I will be following this news closely.

                          Chad on February 20th, 2013 7:08 am

                          Seems like they should seize something better.

                            slap_maxwell on February 20th, 2013 7:12 am

                            Indeed, Klaus — it’s time to file a Freedom of Information Act request to see what you can dig up.

                              Moxie on February 20th, 2013 8:51 am

                              Wow, that is scary! Wonder what happened that is making them seize shipments? If big T and P was in it, then they are probably having theirs returned, so that the ecig community doesn’t get in an uproar! Or, maybe there is a problem with their nic suppliers? Do you know what companies they use?

                                MrsCasey on February 20th, 2013 11:17 am

                                I think it is really too soon to speculate on what actually happened. This is gonna cause panic and we don’t need that. Wizard Labs is showing out of stock because they had a large amount of orders come in when they were moving and they want to fill those orders before they take more. My Freedom Smoke ran a huge sale on Nic and sold out but they expect to be re-stocked by the 21st. Is the only verifiable source claiming their e-liquid was confiscated a Vendor who has already said it could be due to mislabelling? I don’t see any other vendor names and the GSK & RJ Reynolds reports are unconfirmed. Unfortunately at this time I only see this article as causing more panic, more hoarding and stocking up on nicotine and causing more shortages and possibly higher prices.

                                  Sylvie on February 20th, 2013 12:02 pm

                                  well my opinions went out the window after reading Mrs.Casey’s comment first…she makes sense unlike my still sleeping brain did when it started thinking about major DIY vendors being out of nic and this could be right, its wrong, mrscasey is more than likely right.. As for FDA doing this, its no surprise, they and other government agencies seem to have invented their own unwritten laws to do whatever the heck they want!!

                                    Jason on February 20th, 2013 1:08 pm

                                    The FDA dose not seize shipments.

                                      Jim on February 20th, 2013 1:14 pm

                                      The e-cig companies or owned by the tabaco companies. Do your research. This is a fad that will fail.

                                        Chris on February 20th, 2013 1:14 pm


                                          Amanda on February 20th, 2013 1:25 pm

                                          interesting indeed

                                            Morrinb on February 20th, 2013 3:43 pm

                                            I’m not going to get worked up over this until more information is known. Right now there isn’t enough to do more than speculate.

                                              kkneale on February 20th, 2013 4:06 pm

                                              Thanks everyone for your comments. I wanted to be very clear that all this is conjecture based on a few details (mostly unconfirmed or unproven). I was rapidly finding that without more information, we won’t know anything anytime soon. i can’t even file an effective freedom of information act without some more solid details. I felt it better to make the issue public, turn some heads towards it, and maybe more would come to light.

                                                BlueMist Rob on February 20th, 2013 7:44 pm

                                                Unfortunately, this isn’t new. I own BlueMist Vaping, and we had a total of 15kg of pure nicotine seized over a few shipments.
                                                Customs officials in one case sent no notice to either me or the shipping company, and in the rest the notices arrived too late to do anything (30 days to appeal, letter with case number and location postmarked a day before the deadline and sent first class)

                                                The FDA is leaning on customs to make life difficult.

                                                  Amanda on February 20th, 2013 9:16 pm

                                                  Like Morrin said….just speculate

                                                    GhOsT DoGg 79 on February 20th, 2013 9:17 pm


                                                      Karla Lyle (MsV8PR) on February 21st, 2013 11:36 am

                                                      I hope it was just because it was islabeled or some rule wasn’t followed and not because it was nicotine. The stuff the gov’t can and does do is just ridiculous.

                                                        Donald Hammond on February 21st, 2013 1:08 pm

                                                        Hope this doesn’t become a trend.

                                                          John "Shub" Fellhoelter on February 21st, 2013 9:50 pm

                                                          I’d like to know the full story and reasons as to why. It’s a little hazey, but I already wanna jump to conclusions and wanna recommend trying to SUE THEIR ASSES..

                                                            slap_maxwell on February 22nd, 2013 6:01 am

                                                            To be honest, I don’t trust anyone associated with the government as far as I can throw them. And I damn sure don’t trust Customs, TSA or the FDA….

                                                              Courtney on February 23rd, 2013 3:19 am

                                                              Id like to see them do this to tobacco companies!

                                                                saboinia on February 24th, 2013 1:51 pm

                                                                agreed file a FIA with a petition

                                                                  johnnyvapes on February 24th, 2013 9:51 pm

                                                                  Let’s think positive! Maybe they are looking to see the quality of the nicotine we are vaping Vs. the quality of nicotine in the government controlled nicotine products.

                                                                  There may be some good to come out of this. I know I would rather vendors give me a better, safer grade product then to have a product out there that may harm me or even kill me. After all we started vaping to use a product that was safer for us in the first place isn’t it?

                                                                  I just hope the government isn’t using it to try and obtain a reason to ban vaping. Product does need some for of regulation and someone in the vaping community should step up and form a regulating body before the government does.

                                                                    imtheboss on February 27th, 2013 1:52 pm

                                                                    very intirsting.

                                                                      Zane on February 27th, 2013 4:28 pm

                                                                      Interesting. Hmm.

                                                                        the walking dead season three on February 28th, 2013 12:13 am

                                                                        OMG! This is the funniest comment ever! Odd they look more and more alike in that last photo. Squint eyes.

                                                                          Holly DeLain on February 28th, 2013 4:37 am

                                                                          Not sure what the heck that last comment was about but…

                                                                          Just seems a bit odd! You would think that they would at least put something out there as to the reason for the seizures. The fact that it is completely hush hush is what bothers me the most. Heck… put something out … contamination, testing, the aliens made me do it! Just something! That they get away with just “taking” it is crazy@!

                                                                            Hannah on February 28th, 2013 7:00 pm

                                                                            Thats messed up, the FDA should keep there nose in contaminated foods, and illegal drugs.

                                                                              flux83 on March 1st, 2013 5:40 am

                                                                              I have heard of this happening alot in Canada but thats messed up its happening here.

                                                                                Shanon on March 1st, 2013 5:47 am

                                                                                In January I had a shipment of E-Liquid held for two weeks before FDA and Customs would release the shipment along extra fees. At least it did get released.

                                                                                  John on March 1st, 2013 12:05 pm

                                                                                  Since when does the government tell you anything unless it is a lie?

                                                                                    Rob on March 11th, 2013 9:02 pm

                                                                                    We just had an order of cartomizers and ecig kits seized by US Customs with very little explanation and from what I understand, there’s nothing at all we can do about it! The Customs agent said that they are now focusing on ecigs more and will seize any shipment they see. We have our cartomizers made in a factory in China just like every other supplier that I know and they come in our store packaging, yet they are saying that the cartomizers are counterfeit. It doesn’t make sense to me…

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