DALLAS – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport working in conjunction with agents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today the seizure of 33,681 units of e-cigarettes with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $719 453.
CBP seized 42 separate shipments arriving from China destined to various Texas counties during a weeklong joint operation. In these shipments were individual e-cigarette units each with a disposable flavored cartridge resembling the Puff Bar brand including Puff XXL and Puff Flow.
The joint operation with FDA occurred over a one-week period where officers and agents were looking to intercept counterfeit e-cigarettes or flavored e-cigarettes imported to the U.S. that did not meet the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) requirements, as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act).
“Many counterfeit and unapproved products are likely produced in unregulated facilities with unverified ingredients posing a serious health concern to consumers. It is especially alarming when these types of counterfeit and unapproved products find their way into the hands of children as studies indicate,” said CBP Port Director Timothy Lemaux. “We will continue to take every opportunity to work with our partners at the FDA to intercept and seize products that threaten U.S. consumers.”
Tobacco products including e-cigarettes imported or offered for import into the U.S. must comply with all applicable U.S. laws. Read more about the FDA’s regulations governing e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.
“The FDA continues to prioritize enforcement against e-cigarette products, specifically those most appealing and accessible to youth,” said Mitch Zeller, J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “We are very concerned about how popular these products are with youth. This seizure makes clear to tobacco product manufacturers, retailers and importers that the FDA is keeping a close watch on the marketplace and will hold accountable those companies that violate tobacco laws and regulations.”
According to FDA, the Puff Bar website appears to have recently stopped online sales and distribution in the U.S; however, it does not mean that the firm ceased distributing products to other retailers or selling products at brick and mortar retail stores. The website’s store locators are still active, indicating that potential consumers can still search for products located for sale at retail stores.
CBP’s trade enforcement mission places a significant emphasis on intercepting illicit products that could harm American consumers including the unauthorized sale of flavored e-cigarettes. In fiscal year 20, CBP seized 93,590 units of e-cigarettes that did not meet U.S. federal regulations.
CBP’s Office of Field Operations leads the agency’s border security mission at the nation’s 328 ports of entry. CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo searching for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.
Visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures the nation’s borders.