US warns companies marketing candy-like nicotine fluid

Washington (AFP) –


US regulators on Tuesday sent 13 warning letters to companies marketing nicotine fluid for e-cigarettes in packages that look like cookies, juice boxes and whipped cream, saying they pose a danger to children.

"Young children exposed to nicotine in e-liquids can experience severe harms such as death, seizure, and coma," said the letters signed by the US Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission.

The letters to manufacturers, distributors and retailers called for them to correct "misbranding violations" because the products' "labeling and/or advertising is false or misleading."

It was unclear if any children have been harmed by the products mentioned, which include names like "One Mad Hit Juice Box," "Candy King Sour Worms," "Whip'd Strawberry" and "V'Nilla cookies and Milk."

The letter to One Mad Hit Juice Box said "an accidental ingestion of slightly less than a teaspoon would reach the lower end of the fatal dose range for an average two-year-old."

At least two children in the United States have died as a result of exposure to liquid nicotine, which is used in battery-powered vaping devices, or e-cigarettes, according to an April study in the journal Pediatrics.

The study found 8,269 liquid nicotine exposures among children under age six between 2012 and 2017.

In most cases, the children ingested the liquid. Some 35 percent were treated and released from a health care facility, and 1.4 percent were admitted.

The exposure rate among children soared nearly 1,400 percent from 2012 to 2015.

Then, the rate decreased by 20 percent from 2015 to 2016, likely due to a rise in child-resistant packaging, said the Pediatrics report.