Tobacco

Police Seize More Than 33K Counterfeit E-Cigarettes

Products resembled Puff Bar brand
FDA
Photograph: Shutterstock

DALLAS — U.S. Customs and Border Police (CBP) officers seized 33,681 counterfeit e-cigarette units resembling the Puff Bar brand at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

The effort was made in conjunction with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of an initiative to intercept counterfeit or other violative e-cigarettes, including ones that do not meet the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requirements. CBP found more than 93,500 units of e-cigarettes in fiscal year 2020 that did not meet federal regulation. 

“Many counterfeit, unapproved or unauthorized products are likely produced in unregulated facilities with unverified ingredients posing a serious health concern to consumers,” said CBP Port Director Timothy Lemaux. “It is especially alarming when these types of counterfeit and unauthorized products find their way into the hands of children as studies indicate. 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.”

Throughout December, CBP seized 42 separate shipments arriving from China destined to various Texas counties. The shipments contained individual flavored e-cigarette cartridges resembling the Puff Bar brand, including Puff XXL and Puff Flow. The merchandise had a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $719,453, the FDA said.

The FDA in July warned Cool Clouds Distribution Inc., doing business as Puff Bar, to remove its flavored disposable e-cigarettes and products that appealed to youth from the market because they did not have the required premarket authorization. The company has since stopped online sales, according to its website.

“The FDA continues to prioritize enforcement against e-cigarette products, specifically those most appealing and accessible to youth,” said Mitch Zeller, 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.”

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