Drug paraphernalia includes "bongs" (water pipes for marijuana, also used for tobacco), storage vials and smoking pipes for crack, vials and scales, spoons and pipes for sniffing cocaine, and polyethylene bags for packaging heroin. The drug accessory trade is a multibillion-dollar industry. Profits are high -- a crack pipe that costs a few cents to produce can retail for several dollars -- and the risk of jail is low. In most countries, the manufacture of drug paraphenalia is not illegal and if sale is a crime it is typically a loosely enforced misdemeanor.
During the period 1988-1990, USA Customs Service seized nearly $300 million in paraphernalia. In 1990, a Chinese-run black market operation in New York City, worth an estimate $73 million a year, was discovered. Police consider it one of many underground warehouse operations.