November 29, 2018 / 3:43 PM / 11 days ago

FDA warns e-cigarette liquid maker against products resembling food for kids

FILE PHOTO: A view shows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland August 14, 2012. To match special report USA-FDA/CASES REUTERS/Jason Reed

(Reuters) - The U.S. health regulator on Thursday warned a California-based manufacturer and retailer against advertising its e-cigarette liquids with nicotine in a way that may cause the products to resemble kid-friendly food like juice boxes and cookies.

The Food and Drug Administration’s warning letter to privately held Electric Lotus LLC is part of its drive to limit the use of tobacco products among youth.

It had earlier this month announced new steps such as limiting sale of fruity or sweet-flavored varieties to age-restricted stores or through online merchants, to prevent a new generation of nicotine addicts.

Electric Lotus' products outlined in Thursday's warning included "Cereal Treat Loopz", which resembled Lucky Charm products. Many of the products have cartoon characters on their labeling and advertising, the FDA said in a statement here.

“There’s no excuse for this sort of packaging and we’ll continue to target these products and the companies that market them,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

The company also failed to list its products with the FDA and sold e-liquids without the required pre-market authorization, the regulator said.

Earlier this year, the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission had warned 17 other e-cigarette companies against selling products that could potentially be confused with food products for children.

Reporting by Manogna Maddipatla in Bengaluru

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