The US Food and Drug Administration said yesterday it had issued a warning letter to Electric Lotus for selling nicotine-containing e-liquids with labeling and/or advertising that cause the liquids to resemble kid-friendly food products, such as cereal, candy, and peanut butter and jelly.
The FDA, in a note issued through its Center for Tobacco Products, said its action was part of the agency’s ongoing effort to protect kids from tobacco products.
Electric Lotus ‒ a manufacturer, distributor and retailer, based in Redlands, California ‒ was also cited for illegally selling products to a minor, for failing to list its products with FDA and for selling e-liquids without the required FDA premarket authorization.
“We’re seeing too many cases where companies are designing e-liquid products in packages that resemble children’s food items and this sort of egregious marketing can lead to accidental ingestion of potentially lethal doses of nicotine by young kids,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD.
“There’s no excuse for this sort of packaging and we’ll continue to target these products and the companies that market them.
“FDA will also continue to implement new steps to make sure children aren’t started down a path to nicotine addiction and tobacco use. Those include actions to target those who design products in ways that are clearly marketed to appeal to children. No child should be using any tobacco product. We’ll continue to hold industry accountable to ensure these products aren’t being marketed to, sold to or used by kids.”
The products outlined in the new warning letter were said to include, for example: ‘“Cereal Treats Crunch,” which resembles Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal products; “Cereal Treats Loopz,” which looks like Froot Loops cereal; “Cereal Treats Charms,” which resembles Lucky Charms cereal products; and “Cereal Treats Krispies,” which looks like Rice Krispies Treats cereal’. Many of these products were said to have cartoon characters on their labeling and/or advertising.
The FDA has requested that the company responds within 15 working days to describe how it intends to address the agency’s concerns.
‘Failure to correct violations may result in further action such as seizure or injunction,’ the FDA note said. ‘In addition, misbranded or adulterated products imported into the United States are subject to detention and refusal of admission.’