WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced May 1 that, in conjunction with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it has issued a warning letter to 13 companies in the e-cigarette business.
“Protecting young children from unwarranted health and safety risks is one of our highest priorities,” acting FTC chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen said in a statement. “Nicotine is highly toxic, and these letters make clear that marketing methods that put kids at risk of nicotine poisoning are unacceptable.”
The 13 companies include manufacturers, distributors and retailers of e-liquids and e-cigarettes. The FTC and FDA warned the companies about their sales methods, which allegedly include making e-liquids resemble kid-friendly food products like juice boxes or candies.
“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,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. “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.
"Companies selling these products have a responsibility to ensure they aren’t putting children in harm’s way or enticing youth use, and we’ll continue to take action against those who sell tobacco products to youth and market products in this egregious fashion.”