The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Nov. 16 sent warning letters to five e-cigarette companies for targeting children with products packaged to look like toys, food or cartoon characters. None of the manufacturers submitted a premarket application for any of the unauthorized products.
The unauthorized products described in the warning letters include e-cigarettes that are designed to look like toys and electronics like glow sticks, Nintendo Game Boy and walkie-talkies. Some of the e-cigarettes feature youth-appealing characters from TV shows, movies and video game characters while others imitate foods like popsicles.
“The designs of these products are an utterly flagrant attempt to target kids,” said Brian King, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, in a statement. “It’s a hard sell to suggest that adults using e-cigarettes with the goal of quitting smoking need a cartoon character emblazoned across the front of the product in order to do so successfully.”
Critics noted that four of the five companies targeted companies based in China, where the FDA has no jurisdiction.
“Companies in China—like those cited today—manufacture products for sale around the world, not just in the United States,” wrote Jim McDonald on Vaping360. “The FDA cannot enforce its rules for U.S. manufacturers against Chinese companies or against retailers in other countries.”
The recipients of the FDA letters are Wizman Limited doing business as Wizvapor, Shenzhen Fumot Technology Co., doing business as R and M Vapes, Shenzhen Quawins Technology Co., Ruthless Vapor and Moti Global.