The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission recently warned dozens of manufacturers, distributors and retailers that they are endangering children by marketing e-cigarette liquids to resemble kid-friendly food products such as juice boxes, candy and whipped cream.
Federal regulators said the packaging of the products – which showcase cartoon-like images – could mislead children into thinking the liquids, which can be highly toxic if swallowed, are actually things they commonly eat and drink.
These “e-liquids,” are typically a mixture of nicotine, flavors and other ingredients. According to experts, ingesting them can cause nicotine poisoning – and even death – for young children. The feds cited a recent study which found that between January 2012 and 2017 there were more than 8,200 e-cigarette and liquid nicotine exposures among children younger than 6.
“The warning letters cover eight different products. Not all e-liquids contain nicotine.” The government targeted only the items which contain nicotine.
The products that were issued warnings include: “One Mad Hit Juice Box,” which resembles the children’s apple juice box from Tree Top brand; “Vape Heads Sour Smurf Sauce,” which resembles WarHeads candy; “V’Nilla Cookies & Milk,” which looks like Nilla Wafer and Golden Oreo cookies, and “Twirly Pop – which the FDA said, “not only resembles a Unicorn Pop lollipop but is shipped with one.”
Federal law prohibits unfair or deceptive advertising. The regulators told the companies that the products are “misbranded” in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act “because their labeling and/or advertising imitating kid-friendly foods is false or misleading.”