WASHINGTON, DC (CBSNewYork) – Two federal agencies have issues warnings to 13 manufacturers of high nicotine e-cigarette goods to stop making their product packaging look like children’s juice boxes, candies and cookies.
“Nicotine is highly toxic, and these letters make clear that marketing methods that put kids at risk of nicotine poisoning are unacceptable,” said Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen.
The Food and Drug Administration cited data reporting there were more than 8,000 e-cigarette and liquid nicotine exposures among children age 6 or younger between January 2012 and April 2017.
Products outlined in the warning letters included:
- “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
- “V’Nilla Cookies & Milk,” which resembles Nilla Wafer and Golden Oreo cookies
- “Whip’d Strawberry,” which resembles Reddi-Wip dairy whipped topping
- “Twirly Pop,” which not only resembles a Unicorn Pop lollipop but is shipped with one
“Looking at these side-to-side comparisons is alarming,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. “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.”
In addition to these faux product boxes, other brands of e-cigarettes have made their products easy to hide, allowing underage children to sneak them into school or hide them from their parents.
“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,” said Gottlieb.
Young children exposed to nicotine in e-liquids can experience severe harms such as seizure, coma and death.