The Food and Drug Administration is warning companies that make and sell e-cigarette liquid to stop using packaging that appeals to kids after a recent analysis found that more than 8,200 children under the age of 6 were exposed to e-cigarettes or liquid nicotine between January 2012 and April 2017. Exposure to even small amounts of the nicotine used in such products can lead to seizures, respiratory failure, cardiac arrest, coma, and death for children, USA Today reports. Just half a teaspoon could be fatal for a 2-year-old, Bloomberg reports.The FDA told 13 companies to change labeling and advertising that makes the nicotine products look like juice boxes, candy, or cookies—some of which even use cartoon imagery—and can lead to accidental ingestion. Products could be seized or injunctions filed if the companies don't change tactics, the FDA says.
Specifically, the FDA compared the "One Mad Hit Juice Box" to popular apple juice boxes, "Vape Heads Sour Smurf Sauce" to War Heads candy, "V'Nilla Cookies & Milk" to Nilla Wafers and Golden Oreos, and "Whip'd Strawberry" to whipped cream. And then there's "Twirly Pop," which "not only resembles a Unicorn Pop lollipop but is shipped with one," per the FDA. "Looking at these side-to-side comparisons is alarming," said FDA Commissioner and physician Scott Gottlieb in a press release. "No child should be using any tobacco product, and no tobacco products should be marketed in a way that endangers kids—especially by using imagery that misleads them into thinking the products are things they’d eat or drink." Some of the companies were also cited for illegally selling their products to minors online.