Two federal agencies, the Food & Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, sent warning letters to vaping companies over concerns that their products are illegally marketed to children.
The letter from the FDA to companies like Candy Co E-Liquids says that their products contain “labeling and/or advertising that causes [them] to imitate food products, particularly ones that are marketed toward, and/or appealing to, children”, and a quick look at the packaging confirms it’s specifically designed to imitate candy and juice.
The product “One Mad Hit,” from the company Mad Hatter Juice, appears pretty egregious in its resemblance to a Tree Top Apple Juice box for kids, and these products aren’t particularly new, either. Reviews for One Mad Hit, for example, go back to 2016 and the critics aren’t shocked at the similarities to kids’ products.
The box even says things like: “A juicebox a day keeps the doctor away,” though the nutritional facts are obviously honest that the product contains nicotine and no real apples.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is pretty passionate about this issue. He told reporters: “You look at the lollipop for example. I don’t see how my 4- or 5-year-old doesn’t just look at that and see a lollipop. It’s a lollipop.”
That product, by the way, the Twirly Pop, comes with a real lollipop when you buy it. Other products targeted by the FDA are Vape Heads Sour Smurf Sauce, Candy King Sour Worms, Whip’d Strawberry, Pink Sticks, and V’Nilla Cookies & Milk, which… come on… looks just like a box of Nilla Wafers or Golden Oreos.
Jameson Rodgers, VP of business development for the company that makes One Mad Hit, said the products are not intended for children. He told NPR “We definitely didn’t intend to position it as a product that would appeal to anybody who wasn’t of legal smoking age.” Nick Warrender, the owner of Lifted Liquids, said the Vape Heads product was designed to play to adults nostalgic for Sour Warheads. He also said they’ve already taken steps to address the packaging, as they increasingly saw it as a problem.
What do you guys think? Have e-juice companies been able to run wild with their marketing? Let us know in the comments.
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