The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued 13 warning letters to manufacturers, distributors and retailers for selling e-liquids for e-cigarette use in packaging that causes the products to resemble kid-friendly food products.
The packaging contains labeling and/or advertising that the agencies have deemed misleading, including similar imagery, cartoon-like images and packaging shapes and sizes that resemble products such as juice boxes. Several of the companies were also cited for illegally selling the products to minors.
“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," says FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. "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."
The products that caused warning letters include: “One Mad Hit Juice Box,” which resembles children’s apple juice boxes, such as Tree Top-brand juice boxes; “Vape Heads Sour Smurf Sauce,” which resembles War Heads candy; and “V'Nilla Cookies & Milk,” which resembles Nilla Wafer and Golden Oreo cookies. Other products include “Whip’d Strawberry,” which resembles Reddi-wip dairy whipped topping, and “Twirly Pop,” which resembles a Unicorn Pop lollipop and is also shipped with a Unicorn Pop.
The companies have 15 business days to respond to the letters with specific actions they will take to address the concerns. Failure to comply could result in further action such as seizure or injunction.