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FDA warns tobacco companies for illegally marketing products to children

Several companies have been caught marketing tobacco to kids

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warning letters notifying four tobacco companies that many of their products do not have the required marketing authorization to be sold legally in the US.

Mighty Vapors, Liquid Labs USA, V8P Juice International and Hookah Imports have apparently marketed 44 flavored e-liquid and hookah tobacco products to children since late 2016, according to the FDA.

The four businesses have 15 days to respond with plans to address the FDA’s concerns or potentially face penalties ranging from fines to seizures and injunctions.

"Today's actions make clear that we will continue to keep a close watch on whether companies are breaking the law and will take swift steps when violations are found,” said acting FDA commissioner Ned Sharpless. “Our work in this area has already resulted in a number of companies removing products from the market.”

The FDA has sent letters to nearly 90 companies since early 2019 seeking information about over 130 e-cigarette products, including evidence that the product is legally marketed. As a result, many companies such as NEwhere, Drip More and Tinted Brew have pulled items off the shelves.

The four brands in question have not yet responded to The Drum's request for comment.

"The marketing of illegal tobacco products is particularly concerning given the epidemic of youth vaping that we're facing,” Sharpless said. “Which we know has resulted in part from irresponsible practices of manufacturers, importers and retailers that have targeted kids in their marketing of these products.”

As part of the agency's Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan, the FDA has said it will continue to chase more companies that prey on minors through unethical marketing practices.

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