WASHINGTON -- Taking another step in its recently announced crackdown on vaping among underage youth, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued 13 warning letters to manufacturers, distributors and retailers for selling e-liquids with labeling that they say could resemble kid-friendly food products.
Some of these e-liquids (used in electronic cigarettes for vaping) resemble juice boxes, candy or cookie packages or use cartoon imagery, FDA officials said in a statement released May 1. Several of the companies receiving warning letters, some for selling their products via the internet, were also cited for illegally selling the products to minors, the agencies said.
“No child should be using any tobacco product, and no tobacco products should be marketed in a way that endangers kids—especially by using imagery that misleads them into thinking the products are things they’d eat or drink,” said Scott Gottlieb, commissioner for the Silver Spring, Md.-based FDA. “Looking at these side-to-side comparisons is alarming. It is easy to see how a child could confuse these e-liquid products for something they believe they’ve consumed before, like a juice box.”
Maureen Ohlhausen, acting chairman of the FTC, Washington, D.C., said, “Protecting young children from unwarranted health and safety risks is one of our highest priorities. Nicotine is highly toxic, and these letters make clear that marketing methods that put kids at risk of nicotine poisoning are unacceptable.”
Here are a few examples of the products named in the FDA-FTC statement ...