FDA Warns Against Illegal E-cigarettes That Look Like Toys, Food, Cartoon Characters

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued warning letters to makers of illegal e-cigarettes, which are packaged to look like toys, food, or cartoon characters likely to promote use by youth.

The letters were given to five firms for the unauthorized marketing of 15 different e-cigarette products. They are Wizman Ltd., doing business as Wizvapor; Shenzhen Fumot Technology Co., Ltd. doing business as R and M Vapes; Shenzhen Quawins Technology Co., Ltd.; Ruthless Vapor; as well as Moti Global.

The agency noted that none of these manufacturers submitted a premarket application for any of the unauthorized products.

The FDA noted that the unauthorized e-cigarettes are designed to look like toys and youth-appealing electronics like glow sticks, Nintendo Game Boy, and walkie-talkies.

They also feature youth-appealing characters from TV shows, movies, and video game characters. These include "The Simpsons," "Family Guy," "Squid Game," "Rick and Morty," "Minions," and "Baby Bus;" or imitate foods like popsicles.

Brian King, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, said, "The designs of these products are an utterly flagrant attempt to target kids. 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."

E-cigarettes without a marketing authorization order are adulterated and misbranded, and selling or distributing these products to consumers in the U.S. is prohibited under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act.

In mid-October, the FDA and the U.S. Department of Justice or DOJ sought permanent injunctions against six e-cigarette manufacturers for continuing to illegally manufacture and distribute their products despite warnings.

Through October 28, the FDA has issued more than 440 warning letters to firms marketing illegal e-cigarettes containing tobacco-derived nicotine, and more than 60 warning letters to firms marketing illegal products containing non-tobacco nicotine.

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