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11/23/2022

FDA Sends Warning Letters for Youth-Appealing Vapor Products

Five companies come under scrutiny for marketing unauthorized items.
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Logos for the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warning letters to five firms for the unauthorized marketing of 15 different electronic cigarette products.

According to the agency, each vapor product is packaged to look like toys, food or cartoon characters, and is likely to promote use by youth. None of the manufacturers submitted a premarket tobacco product 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 youth-appealing electronics like glow sticks, Nintendo Game Boy and walkie-talkies;
  • Feature youth-appealing characters from TV shows, movies, and video game characters, including "The Simpsons," "Family Guy," "Squid Game," "Rick and Morty," "Minions," and "Baby Bus"; or
  • 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. "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."

The FDA issued warning letters to Wizman Limited doing business as Wizvapor, Shenzhen Fumot Technology Co. Ltd. doing business as R and M Vapes, Shenzhen Quawins Technology Co. Ltd., Ruthless Vapor and Moti Global.

In the warning letters, the agency notifies the recipients that e-cigarettes without a marketing authorization order are adulterated and misbranded, and that selling or distributing these products to consumers in the United States is prohibited under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Failure to correct the violations can result in additional FDA actions such as an injunction, seizure and/or civil money penalties.

"The FDA is committed to keeping tobacco products out of the hands of our nation's youth," King said. "The agency will continue to hold companies accountable for illegally selling e-cigarettes, particularly those that shamelessly target youth." 

The warning letters are just the latest step in the FDA's efforts to remove illegally marketed tobacco products from the market. Through Oct. 28, the agency 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.

On Oct. 18, the U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the FDA, filed complaints for permanent injunctions in federal district courts against six e-cigarette manufacturers who failed to submit premarket applications for their e-cigarette products and continued to illegally manufacture, sell and distribute their products, despite previous warnings from the FDA that they were in violation of the law.