Wyden Touts New E-Cig Data Showing Massive Imports from China CS

New Report from GAO Highlights Comprehensive Value and Sources of E-Cigarette Imports for the First Time

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today expressed concern following the release of a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) containing new data indicating the vast majority of imported electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products come from China.

“The American public has a right to know the source of products they consume, especially when they are coming from overseas, and in particular from China which offers little data on the safety of e-cigarette products,” Wyden said. “Today’s report offers a view into where American consumers get their e-cigarettes, but the continued lack of standards means the health effects are unknown at best.” 

The GAO report found that over 91 percent of the customs value of e-cigarette imports in 2016 came from Chinese products, totaling over $313 million. The report comes after Wyden urged the U.S. International Trade Commission to collect data on e-cigarette products and they, along with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began to do so on January 1, 2016. Today’s report is based on the first full year of data collected under the new e-cigarette import reporting requirements.

Last year, Wyden hailed a decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin regulating e-cigarette products like traditional cigarette and tobacco products. However, they can be imported and sold without restriction by age or any other criteria. E-cigarette products are not currently subject to federal tobacco taxes or safety standards.

The full report from GAO can be found here.

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