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53,700 Illegal Vapes Seized by FDA and Customs Officials
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53,700 Illegal Vapes Seized by FDA and Customs Officials

The FDA has announced that unauthorized e-cigarettes worth an estimated $1.08 million were seized upon entry into the United States in the last week of June 2024. The shipment of approximately 53,700 vapes, which Customs and Border Protection intercepted at the Port of Chicago, originated from China and was destined for a wholesaler in Mississippi.

The more than 170 boxes included in the shipment were mislabeled as “electronic atomizers”, apparently to hide them from the eyes of customs officials. This is something that has become common, according to the CBP. Upon inspection, the FDA and CBP determined that the vapes, which included various flavored IPLAY MAX disposables, violated the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FD&C Act).

LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Direction Field Operations, Chicago Field Officer, said:

“Our officers are dedicated to identifying and intercepting these types of shipments that could potentially harm the health and wellbeing of people within our communities. Customs and Border Protection’s trade enforcement mission places a significant emphasis on intercepting illicit products that could harm American consumers, and we will continue to work with our consumer product safety partners to identify and seize unsafe and illicit goods.”

This is the first major action to halt the import of unauthorized e-cigarettes to have occurred since the formation of the multi-agency federal task force was announced by the FDA on June 10. This task force has been created to coordinate and streamline efforts to bring all available criminal and civil tools to bear against the illegal distribution and sale of e-cigarettes responsible for nicotine addiction among American youth.

On announcing this latest seizure, Brian King, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), said:

“[The] FDA will continue to use the full scope of our enforcement tools—including product seizures—to hold bad actors throughout the tobacco product supply chain accountable. This action demonstrates how collaboration across the federal government is critical to combat the importation of unauthorized e-cigarettes into the United States.”

While working with other agencies, the FDA has seized illegal vapes worth nearly $19 million in 2024 alone. This includes the three-day enforcement action at LAX, where $18 million of unauthorized e-cigarette products were intercepted, and the U.S. Marshalls raid on a California warehouse in April that led to $700,000 worth of disposables being confiscated. 

Russ Ware Author Picture 2

Russ Ware

Russ is a UK-based Staff Writer for Versed Vaper who has been in journalism for more than two decades, having previously written for tech publications like Lifewire. He tried vaping in 2015 but the setup that he was using wasn’t quite right and so he didn’t enjoy it at first. However, after going back and forth between vaping and smoking for a couple of years, he started experimenting with different coils, power levels, and mixing his own vape juice. The rest is history and Russ has been a devoted vaper ever since. Russ is a passionate writer and he produces reviews, news, and well-researched informational articles for our site. When Russ is not testing or writing about vapes, he likes to travel, read true crime, and eat anything with lots of chilies.

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