FDA Targets Paid Social Media Influencers In Trying To Curb Youth Vaping Epidemic
The agency sent letters to companies that used paid social media influencers to pitch nicotine solutions to their online followers. The posts in question didn't include a mandatory warning that the vaping liquids contain nicotine. The letters came as part of a broader push to address climbing rates of teen vaping.
The Associated Press:
FDA: 'Influencers' Promoted Vaping Without Suitable Warnings
U.S. regulators moved to discipline vaping companies for inappropriately promoting their flavored nicotine formulas through so-called influencers on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. The Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters Friday to four companies that used paid social media influencers to pitch nicotine solutions to their online followers, including flavors like Watermelon Patch and Strawberry Kiwi. (Perrone, 6/7)
U.S. FDA Warns Flavored E-Cigarette Makers Over Social Media Posts
Social media marketing has come under increased scrutiny as part of attempts by health regulators to control the marketing of tobacco products, particularly the newest generation of products including the wildly popular Juul e-cigarettes. Posts on social media on behalf of Solace Technologies LLC, Hype City Vapors LLC, Humble Juice Co LLC and Artist Liquids Laboratories LLC had content touting the flavored e-liquid products by not including the required nicotine warning statement, the agency said. (6/7)
Feds Target Vaping Companies' Use Of Social Media 'Influencers'
Facebook officially prohibits advertising or selling tobacco products, but there are loopholes. The FTC has also been reminding influencers that they need to clearly disclose their relationships to brands when promoting or endorsing products through social media. The warning letters come as the FDA is trying to crack down on tobacco companies, and e-cigarette makers in particular, amid a massive spike in teen vaping. (Weixel, 6/7)
Congress And FDA Debate How Aggressively To Regulate E-Cigarettes
A decade after Congress gave the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco products, there is a growing sense that the law might need to be revisited to address a product that lawmakers barely knew about in June 2009: electronic cigarettes. The key tension lies in how to balance e-cigarettes’ potential benefits with their clear risks. While e-cigarettes may offer a less harmful alternative for adults who smoke combustible cigarettes, they can appeal to young people who would have never smoked in the first place. (Siddons, 6/10)
In other news on the FDA —
The Washington Post:
Stem Cell Clinics Likely To Flourish Despite Judge’s Rebuke
When the Food and Drug Administration won a landmark lawsuit this week against a stem cell company, health officials hailed it as a turning point in the government’s struggle to regulate a booming industry selling unproven treatments to desperate patients. But the reaction of the company — Florida-based U.S. Stem Cell — and the industry’s ability to adapt to changing rules suggest the judge’s order may have less impact than many regulators and consumer advocates had hoped. (Wan, 6/7)