'Juice Box' E-Cig Liquids Draw Ire of Federal Regulators

UPDATE 1-US clamps down on kid-friendly packaging for e-cigarette liquids

E-Cigarette packages that look like candies prompted warnings from USA officials, who are intensifying their crackdown on e-cigarette products that they say are geared to entice children.

The US Food and Drug Administration has sent warning letters to manufacturers, distributors, and retailers who are creating candy-like packaging for e-liquids.

Last week, FDA officials said they had started an undercover sting operation targeting retailers that sell the popular Juul products to minors and had asked the maker, Juul Labs, to turn over documents related to marketing practices and health research.

In a press release issued on Tuesday, the FDA confirmed it had sent warning letters to 13 companies, requesting a response within two weeks and threatening "seizure or injunction" if they did not take action.

"Companies selling these products have a responsibility to ensure they aren't putting children in harm's way or enticing youth use, and we will continue to take action against those who sell tobacco products to youth and market products in this egregious fashion", Gottlieb continued.

Some of the products include "One Mad Hit Juice Box", "Vape Heads Sour Smurf Sauce" and "V'Nilla Cookies & Milk". The agency continues to enforce important existing regulations specifically aimed at addressing youth access to ENDS, such as e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products, including the ban on the sale of tobacco products to youth under age 18, the requirement to verify age by photo identification, and the prohibition on free samples.

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Some of the products even smelled like the food they were imitating, said Maureen K. Ohlhausen, acting chairwoman of the FTC. According to the National Poison Data System, there were a total of 8,269 e-cigarette and liquid nicotine exposures among children younger than six between January 2012 and April 2017.

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. The apple juice product came in a cardboard box, with the corners sealed and folded over just like the shelf-stable boxes sold in supermarkets, according to the warning letter.

E-cigarettes are handheld electronic devices that vaporize a fluid typically including nicotine and a flavor component.

A list of the commercially sold look-alike packaging was posted online by the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission.

The government agencies are demonstrating renewed vigor in cracking down on kid-friendly nicotine products in the wake of renewed pressure by groups such as the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Commissioner Gottlieb said he understands that the need for these e-cigarettes is high among adults trying to curb their smoking habits, but he also says that isn't an excuse for companies to put kids in danger.

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