Vaping Influencers Called Out by US FDA

Vaping Influencers Called Out by US FDA

A week ago, on June 7, 2019 the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warning letters to several vaping companies for their marketing programs. They targeted primarily social influencers and their sponsored posts that did not contain mandatory warnings. The posts were on popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The specific companies that received warnings included Solace Technologies LLC (doing business as Solace Vapor), Hype City Vapors LLC, Humble Juice Co. LLC and Artist Liquids Laboratories LLC (doing business as Artist Liquid Labs).

The FDA moved to discipline vaping companies for inappropriately promoting their products to those individuals that are underage. They determined that the e-liquid products were advertised without the proper warnings reading, “WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical,” a requirement that the FDA has enforced since August 10, 2018.

Ironically, Facebook, YouTube and most popular social media sites do not allow companies to “promote” posts or pay for paid advertising; therefore, most vaping companies rely on influencers and other tactics to reach new customers. However, with this further scrutiny vaping companies will need to take additional precautions to ensure they are following proper guidance from the FDA within the United States.

As most people have heard, the FDA is continuing to combat what they have described as an epidemic of underage vaping use. Many studies have been reported to link social media advertising to the surge of vaping among teens as many companies used paid influencers and social media posts to promote their products. Some of these studies reported that there was an 80% jump in vaping among teens last year.

Even though e-cigarettes are becoming more and more recognized for their health benefits, especially compared to traditional tobacco cigarettes there is still a lot of health experts that aren’t jumping on the bandwagon. Health experts primarily point to studies that indicate that nicotine consumed by minors impacts the development of their brains. Furthermore, many politicians and health experts claim that teenagers don’t even realize that popular vaping products contain nicotine.

Moving forward, in the industry, it’s important companies are more vigilant in controlling their advertising and marketing policies. It’s likely that you’ll end up seeing less online marketing as companies fear further complications with the FDA or even financial penalties. Some vaping companies have already cancelled their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

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