Nov. 29 (UPI) -- The FDA has issued a warning to another e-cigarette accessory company: stop targeting kids or else.
A letter from the agency accused California-based Electric Lotus of designing the containers of its e-liquid products to resemble familiar kid-friendly cereal brands like Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Froot Loops.
Other products looked like Smucker's Goober Strawberry PB&J Stripes and Life Savers candy, the agency said.
"We're seeing too many cases where companies are designing e-liquid products in packages that resemble children's food items and this sort of egregious marketing can lead to accidental ingestion of potentially lethal doses of nicotine by young kids," Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the FDA, said in a statement released Thursday. "There's no excuse for this sort of packaging and we'll continue to target these products and the companies that market them."
The FDA also cited the company for illegally selling products to a minor, not listing its products with the federal government and for selling e-liquids without the required federal premarket authorization.
A recent study showed that over 35 percent of children reported going to the hospital after consuming products containing liquid nicotine. The study also reported that "continuing rise in popularity of electronic nicotine delivery systems such as e-cigarettes has coincided with an increase in calls to poison control centers and visits to emergency rooms related to e-liquid poisoning and other liquid nicotine exposure by children younger than six."
This summer the FDA sent out similar warnings to 17 e-liquid retailers and manufacturers to stop creating kid-friendly products that children might confuse with candy, cookies and juice boxes.
The latest move follows sweeping regulations announced by the FDA requiring in-person stores to sell flavored e-cigarette pods in areas restricted to customers older than 18.
In September, the agency issued warning letters and fines to more than 1,300 retailers who illegally sold Juul to minors. The following month, the agency raided Juul's San Francisco headquarters in search of documents that showed the company targeted children in ad campaigns.
In anticipation of FDA sanctions, e-cigarette giant Juul shut down its social media campaigns and stopped selling flavored pods in some stores. Close to a quarter of Juul's Twitter followers are under 18.
Juul currently hold about 70 percent of the e-cigarette market share.
"The FDA will also continue to implement new steps to make sure children aren't started down a path to nicotine addiction and tobacco use," Gottlieb said. "Those include actions to target those who design products in ways that are clearly marketed to appeal to children. No child should be using any tobacco product. We'll continue to hold industry accountable to ensure these products aren't being marketed to, sold to or used by kids."
The FDA is giving Electric Lotus 15 days to comply with its request or face potential "seizure or injunction."