The regulators of US sent warning letters to four companies of e-cigarette on Friday regarding their failure to follow the rules of federal advertising for tobacco on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The (FTC) Federal Trade Commission and (FDA) Food and Drug Administration has reprimanded Hype City Vapors, Solace Technologies, Artist Liquids Laboratories and Humble Juice Co for failing to reveal the safety and health risks of vaping in the postings done by influencers on social media who get paid to market the products.
The regulators said that these companies had violated the rules of advertising and had misbranded the products by not displaying the warning statement which FDA had needed since the month of August. In a separate letter to all the companies, the agencies said that given the addiction risk, the failure to reveal the risks associated with the use of nicotine has raised concerns that postings on social media could mislead customers.
They had also asked the firms to review the materials of marketing and postings done by influencers on social media for ensuring that they would include proper warnings and disclosures. The regulators don’t restrict the companies from this method of marketing for promoting e-cigarettes. However, FDA needs them to include a statement of warning saying that these products consist of nicotine which is a chemical that is very addictive.
Ned Sharpless, FDA Commissioner, said that years of effort to fight the use of tobacco in youth have been threatened by the epidemic of use of e-cigarette in kids, and research shows that youth are largely unaware regarding the nicotine presence in e-cigarettes and its risks. This is the reason why it is important to ensure that retailers, manufacturers and others include the warning. Regarding the addictive properties of nicotine on advertisements and packages, especially on platforms of social media that is popular among kids.