FDA Issues Warning Against Nicotine Candy to Youth

FDA warns nicotine gum manufacturers about the risks to teenagers, citing recent studies showing increased popularity among high school students.

On Thursday, the FDA issued its first warning to manufacturers of nicotine gum, citing the growing risks of illegal nicotine candy to young people.

The FDA has announced that flavored nicotine gum produced by VPR Brands in Florida could potentially cause nicotine poisoning and even death if consumed by young children. The regulatory agency also cited recent studies showing that nicotine candy and similar products are becoming increasingly popular among high school students.

In a statement, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf stated that "nicotine gum is a public health crisis waiting to happen among young people in our country, especially as we approach the new school year." In March, Congress passed a law granting the FDA regulatory power over all forms of nicotine, whether from tobacco companies or manufactured in laboratories. This closed a loophole in FDA oversight that previously only included nicotine from plant extracts.

VPR Brands, a manufacturer, has redesigned its square gummies to be a "smoke-free nicotine" product. In recent years, many e-cigarette companies have also claimed to have switched to synthetic nicotine.

After attempting to reach an employee of VPR Brands via telephone, no comment was given. The company has been given 15 days to remove or address their non-compliant actions following a warning letter from the FDA. VPR Brands has not yet applied for permission to sell nicotine gum. While the warning letter is not legally binding, if the company fails to comply, legal action may be taken by the FDA.

For years, the FDA has been working to reverse the trend of increasing usage of electronic cigarettes among American youth, with mixed results. Last month, the agency announced plans to ban the use of Juul e-cigarettes, but faced legal resistance from the popular e-cigarette company, resulting in the ban being postponed.

A recent study funded by the FDA has found that nicotine candy is the second most commonly used tobacco product among high school students in Southern California, second only to e-cigarettes. The FDA has issued its first warning to manufacturers of nicotine gum on Thursday.


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