Five companies recently received FDA warning letters for selling illegal e-cigarettes designed to look like toys, food, and cartoon characters. [JAMA Network]
“The designs of these products are an utterly flagrant attempt to target kids,” Brian King, PhD, MPH, director of the agency’s Center for Tobacco Products, said in a statement.
The e-cigarettes look like glow sticks and popsicles and other items popular with youth and feature characters from video games, television shows, and films, such as The Simpsons, Squid Game, and Minions.
None of the products’ manufacturers had submitted a premarket application to the FDA, whose approval is necessary before a new tobacco product is introduced to the market. The agency said it has issued more than 440 warning letters to companies marketing illegal e-cigarettes containing tobacco-derived nicotine.
The FDA considers e-cigarettes without marketing authorization to be adulterated and misbranded. If the companies marketing them fail to correct violations, the FDA can seek a permanent injunction, seizure, or civil money penalties.
Analyzing 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey data, the FDA and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 14.1% of high school students reported having used e-cigarettes in the previous 30 days and more than one-quarter of those who vaped said they did so every day.