FDA issues warnings to e-cigarette companies that target children

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued warning letters to 10 e-cigarette manufacturers and retailers who target children.

In February, the Trump Administration implemented a ban on all flavored e-cigarettes, but the ban has loopholes that have allowed thousands of flavored e-cigarettes on the market. These products include refillable devices and menthol-flavored pod products, disposable e-cigarettes sold in an assortment of flavors, and nicotine e-liquids sold in more than 15,000 flavors.

The FDA targeted products that children can easily hide from parents and teachers. These include products that conceal e-cigarettes in devices that resemble children’s toys or smartwatches or in packaging that resembles food products or feature cartoon characters.

“These examples are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the e-cigarette industry’s irresponsible and harmful marketing,” Matthew L. Myers, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids president, said. “In recent weeks, e-cigarette makers and vape shops have continued to aggressively market their products even as health experts warn that smoking and vaping can increase risk of severe complications from COVID-19. They have exploited COVID-19 by offering free giveaways of protective personal equipment like masks, made illegal and unproven health claims, and aggressively marketed flavored products.”

The FDA must clear the market of the flavored e-cigarettes still for sale, Myers said.

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