A group of 13 e-liquid brands may have pushed the envelope too far in terms of creative marketing
Over a dozen e-liquid manufacturers were issued warning letters in May by the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission, directing them to reassess their current packaging strategies. The warning was issued in response to circulating e-liquid products that closely resembled kid-friendly food products like cookie packages and juice boxes. Here is a list of the products and manufacturers:
- One Mad Juice Box by NEwhere inc d/b/a Mad Hatter Juice
- Candy King Batch and Sour Worms by Drip More LLC
- Patches by Candy Co by ACH Group LLC d/b/a Candy Co E-Liquids
- Pink Sticks by 7 Daze LLC
- V’Nilla Cookies & Milk by Tinted Brew Inc
- Whip’d Strawberry by Cosmic Fog Vapors d/b/a Next Day Vapor Products
- Twirly Pop by Omnia E-Liquid
- Vape Heads Sour Smurf Sauce by Warrender Enterprise d/b/a Lifted Liquids and Retail
- Unicorn Cakes by Virtue Vape LLC
- Chill Purple Grape by 8937001 Canada Inc d/b/a Chill E-Liquid and Vallhund Vapes Inc
- Frank ‘N Vape by 13th Floor Elevapors LLC
Warning letters were also sent to distributors and retailers who were selling the products, in some cases online. Below is a list of the recipients:
- Ultimate Vape Deals
- On Cloud Vape
- Fog It Up
- Sugoi Vapor
- Elite Vaporworks
The news could not have come at a worse time for an already fragile industry under intense scrutiny from pressure organizations, activists and lawmakers. The looming implications jeopardize the hopes of ex-smokers most of all, who benefit from a stable e-cigarette and e-liquid market.
In a statement, American Vaping Association president Gregory Conley took the offending companies to task for “crass, bottom-feeding marketing tactics” that could cause regulatory agencies to “expand their campaign to include responsibly marketed flavored products that are popular with adults looking for alternatives to combustible cigarettes.”
Sweeping E-Liquid Bans Would Hurt Ex-Smokers
Independent studies conducted in 2013 and 2018 substantiate the vape industry’s position that sweet, dessert or fruit-flavored e-liquids are not a gimmick to attract minors, but are an important aid to ex-smokers. Both studies show evidence of a steady decline in tobacco-flavored e-liquids purchases between 2011 and now, even in first-time e-cigarette users who formerly smoked cigarettes. In their respective conclusions, the studies asserted that restrictions on non-tobacco e-liquid flavors would likely discourage smokers from switching to e-cigarettes.
The Necessity And Implementation of Regulation
The misguided marketing my these manufacturers only highlights the need for comprehensive regulation in a burgeoning vape market. Luckily the industry is getting just that; the FDA is upping their compliance enforcement efforts in vape shops, which are to be regulated as both retailers and manufacturers going forward.
The FDA has also announced their readiness to spend up to $23 million searching for non-compliance in the vape market. Companies refusing to comply with new guidelines will be subject to enforcement measures such as product seizures and site shutdowns. It’s safe to say distributors and manufacturers will be watching what goes on e-liquid product packaging from now on.