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FDA Announces Seizure of E-Cigarettes Breaching the Tobacco Control Act

A man exhales steam from his electronic cigarette

A bearded man in the clouds of steam from electronic cigarette closeup. vaping man

On Wednesday the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that working with United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), it seized 33,681 units of e-cigarettes at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport in over 42 separate shipments during December originating in China and going to various Texas counties. 

The e-cigarettes reportedly had a cumulative suggested retail price of $719,453. The shipments contained disposable flavored e-cigarette cartridges, which reportedly resembled the products produced by Puff Bar, including the Puff XXL and Puff Flow.  Puff Bar’s parent company, Cool Clouds Distribution, received a warning letter from the FDA to remove flavored e-cigarettes without the proper authorization in July 2020. 

The FDA explained in the press release that this was part of an ongoing joint operation to intercept counterfeit e-cigarettes, specifically some flavored e-cigarettes, which don’t meet requirements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which was amended recently by the Tobacco Control Act. 

“Many counterfeit, unapproved or unauthorized 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 unauthorized products find their way into the hands of children as studies indicate,” said CBP Port Director Timothy Lemaux.

Mitch Zeller, J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said that the FDA will continue prioritizing e-cigarette enforcement and is concerned about the product’s prevalence among 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,” Zeller said. 

The press release reported that the Puff Bar website has stopped sales and distribution in the United States, but that “it does not mean that the firm ceased distributing products to other retailers or selling products at brick and mortar retail stores.” It explained that the website still allowed consumers to search for store locations. 

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