August 23, 2018 / 5:49 PM / 3 months ago

Firms stop kid-friendly packaged e-cigarette liquids sales after FDA push

FILE PHOTO - Packages of flavored liquids for e-cigarettes are seen displayed at a smoke shop in New York City, New York, U.S., May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday that all 17 companies that were warned by the regulator have stopped marketing e-cigarette liquids packaged similar to child-friendly products such as juice boxes, candy or cookies.

The warning in May was a part of the FDA’s sweeping actions taken to prevent sales of tobacco products to kids.

"Even as we encourage the innovation of novel and potentially less harmful products such as e-cigarettes for currently addicted adult smokers, we're committed to holding industry accountable to ensure these products aren't being marketed to, sold to, or used by kids," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement here on Thursday.

E-cigarettes are handheld electronic devices that vaporize an “e-liquid” fluid typically including nicotine and a flavor component. They have been grabbing market share away from traditional tobacco companies, and are available in different flavors.

More than 2 million middle- and high-school students were current users of e-cigarettes in 2016, despite evidence that youth exposure to nicotine affects brain development, making them more susceptible to nicotine addiction in future.

Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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