NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The FDA issues a warning over packaging for products that look like candy for kids, but are actually loaded with nicotine. From candy to cookies to whipped cream, the items are sold by e-cigarette manufacturers and look strikingly similar to some packaging for food products.
Luiz Ortiz helps at the bus stop after school lets out, but after seeing products that look similar to candy and juice his own children ingest, he says it's alarming.
"I would hope there is some type of intervention and knowledge put out there to educate us the parents so our kids don't get a hold of that," Ortiz said.
His concern isn't unfounded. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than half the number of calls to poison centers about e-cigarettes involve children age 5 and younger.
Anthony Kolesa with the Louisiana Vaping Association says they don't support these products, and the shops that are members of the association will not carry products with labels that could appeal to children. But he knows if the products are available, there will be other shops that sell them.
"Speaking to other retailers, be responsible, do the right thing, don't use labels that are appealing to children," he said.
Because even though he said they constantly check IDs and aren't afraid to refuse a sale, the products are still a danger if they wind up in the hands of children.
"For younger children who aren't old enough to read or don't understand, and it looks like a juice box, they may drink the liquid," he said.
Ortiz said he plans to keep a closer eye on his little ones' snacks and candy.
"You'd think something so benign as candy wouldn't do harm to a child, but I guess all good things are not wrapped up in pretty boxes right?" Ortiz said.
The warning letters the FDA sent out yesterday do not put a ban on the products. It's merely a warning to try and limit the access children have to anything containing nicotine.
The shops that are current members of the Louisiana Vaping Association who will not sell products with child-appealing labels include:
- Crescent City Clouds
- Big Chief
- Custom Vaporz
- Vapor Stop
- Vapor Springs
- FCM Vape Shop