The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning creators of e-liquid products Undisputed Worldwide and EZ Fumes to stop marketing their products to look like prescription cough syrups. It fears people will mistakenly think these products can be ingested when, in fact, the ingredients are poisonous.
According to FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, the companies are using “statements, representations and graphic elements that imitate legitimate cough medications.” The warning labels especially call out Double Cup Liquids Spritech Lemon Lime E-Juice Syrup and Double Cup Liquids Pineapple Phantom E-Juice Syrup which the FDA says closely imitates real cough syrup ingredients Actavis Prometh with Codeine and Hi-Tech Promethazine Hydrochloride and Codeine. The use of “Double Cup” make the ingredients seem ingestible.
The marketing of e-liquid products as juice boxes, cereal and candy is also problematic because of the risk of poisoning. Adults who ingest high amounts of liquid nicotine, one of the ingredients in e-liquid products, could be poisoned and children could experience cardiac arrest, seizure, coma and respiratory arrest as a result of consuming even the smallest amounts.
“Efforts to encourage the innovation of novel and potentially less harmful products such as e-cigarettes for currently addicted adult smokers will be severely undermined if bad actors put the public, and kids in particular, at risk in this outrageous fashion,” said Gottlieb. “The FDA will continue to crack down on misleading labeling and advertising and illegal and dangerous e-liquids that may entice youth or put consumers at risk.”