On August 23, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to 15 online retailers for selling and/or distributing unauthorized e-cigarette products packaged to look like youth-appealing characters, school supplies, toys and drinks.
“The design of these products is a shamelessly egregious attempt to target kids,” said Brian King, director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, in a statement. “It’s a tough sell that adults using e-cigarettes to transition away from cigarettes need them to look like SpongeBob in order to do so successfully.”
The unauthorized products described in the warning letters include e-cigarettes that feature youth-appealing characters from TV shows, movies and video games; products that are designed to look like school supplies and toys; and vapes that imitate youth-appealing drinks such as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts coffee cups.
The recipients of the letters have 15 working days to respond with the steps they’ll take to correct the violation and to prevent future violations.