The FDA is cracking down on companies that are allegedly misleading children with e-cigarette solutions that look like juice boxes, candy, and cookies. In May 2018, the FDA and FTC announced that they were taking action against these companies, having sent them warning letters about products that could put children’s’ health at risk.
FDA and FTC Warn Companies to Stop Misleading Underage Consumers
So far, the agencies have sent out 13 warning letters to manufacturers of so-called “e-liquids,” which are the solutions used in e-cigarettes that contain nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. The letters were also sent to distributors and retailers selling the e-liquids. Some of the companies were cited for illegally selling the products to minors.
The companies receiving the letters included:
- Newhere Inc., d.b.a. Mad Hatter Juice
- Drip More LLC
- On Cloud Vape
- ACH Group, LLC, d.b.a. Candy Co E-Liquids
- 7 Daze LLC
- Sugoi LLC, d.b.a. Sugoi Vapor
- Tinted Brew, Inc.
- Fog It Up
- Cosmic Fog Vapors, d.b.a. Next Day Vapor Products
- Elite Vaporworks
- Omnia E-Liquid
- Warrender Enterprise Inc., d.b.a. Lifted Liquids and E-Liquid Retail
- Ultimate Vape Deals
The FTC alone also sent letters to Virtue Vape LLC, Vallhund Vapes Inc., 13th Floor Elevapors, and Chill E-Liquid.
The letters warned that children should not be using any tobacco products and that companies should not be marketing them in a way that misleads children into thinking these are products they should eat or drink.
The products, for example, resemble children’s juice boxes, sour gummy candy packages, strawberry cream covered biscuit sticks, vanilla cookie packaging, whipped topping canisters, lollipops, hard candy, and flavored soda.
FDA Taking Action to Improve Safety for Youth
The FDA compared these e-liquid products directly to the products they resembled and expressed extreme concern. In the letters, they stated, “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. These are preventable accidents that have the potential to result in serious harm or even death.”
They added that companies have a responsibility to ensure they aren’t putting children in danger, and stated they will continue to address these issues. “We’re going to be taking a series of escalating actions under our new Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan,” they stated.
Later in May, the FDA announced that they had sent out four new warning letters to manufacturers over the same issue. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., stated, “Companies putting children at risk or enticing youth use are on notice. If you target kids, then we’re going to target you.”
The National Capital Poison Center (Poison Control) states that liquid nicotine products are “very poisonous if swallowed,” and can cause nausea and vomiting, dizziness, shakiness, sweating, and rapid heart rate. Severe poisoning can cause seizures and even death.
“Always keep children away from ANY product that contains nicotine,” they state, “especially the concentrated nicotine liquid used in electronic cigarettes.”