FDA tells 180 stores to stop selling Elf Bar vapes and others


FDA tells 180 stores to stop selling Elf Bar vapes after report showed illegal e-cig device is a best-seller and is poisoning children

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered more than 180 stores across the country to stop selling fruit- and candy-flavored e-cigarettes. 

Elf Bars – the most popular disposable brand in the US – and Esco Bars were among those in the firing line because of their appeal to teenagers.

The vapes are not approved for use by the FDA and have previously been linked to health problems, including lung damage and heart issues, and can lead youngsters to try other drugs.

Elf Bars - the most popular disposable brand in the US - and Esco Bars were among those in the firing line because of their appeal to teenagers.

Elf Bars – the most popular disposable brand in the US – and Esco Bars were among those in the firing line because of their appeal to teenagers.

Brian King, the director of the agency’s Center for Tobacco Products, warned: ‘This latest blitz should be a wake-up call for retailers. If they’re waiting for a personal invitation to comply with the law, they might just get it in the form of a warning letter or other action from the FDA.’

The FDA has cracked down on the use of flavored disposable e-cigarettes like Elf Bars

The FDA has cracked down on the use of flavored disposable e-cigarettes like Elf Bars 

The crackdown saw letters sent to stores across as many as 30 states between June 5 and June 16 this year following a ‘nationwide inspection blitz’.

Shops were told to immediately remove the illegal products from sale.

Dr Robert Califf, the FDA’s commissioner, said: ‘The FDA is prepared to use all of its authorities to ensure these, and other illegal and youth-appealing products, stay out of the hands of kids.

‘We are committed to a multipronged approach using regulation, compliance and enforcement action and education to protect our nation’s youth.’

Last month, the agency also issued orders to allow customs officials to seize shipments of Elf Bars and Esco Bars at US Ports.

They warned 30 shops over their sales of the bars as well.

The FDA has sought to crack down on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes as their use has rocketed among teenagers.

A 2022 survey from the agency found that over nine percent of American teens use e-cigarettes. 

More than 14 percent of high school students in the US – about 2.14 million teens – currently use e-cigarettes. 

More than 2.5 million US children use e-cigarettes - rising a half-million from last year and reversing downward trends in recent years, data shows

More than 2.5 million US children use e-cigarettes – rising a half-million from last year and reversing downward trends in recent years, data shows

In 2020, the FDA restricted the use of flavorings in reusable e-cigarettes to just menthol and tobacco – which are more appealing to adults.

This has led to an explosion in products in the single-use vaping industry that continue to use the flavors. 

The market was originally led by Puff Bars, which was selling hundreds of millions of vapes nationwide until the FDA cracked down on the business.

Sales data now shows that Elf Bars, made in China by iMiracle Shezhen, are leading the market and have become the third most popular e-cigarette nationally. 

Disposable vapes now make up 52 percent of sales, compared to 24.5 percent in early 2020.

At the same time, the popularity of e-cigarettes spiraled nearly 50 percent during the pandemic driven by popular flavors.

A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found there were over 7million more e-cigarette products sold in America in December 2022 compared to 15.5million in January 2020 (a rise of nearly 47 percent).

While sales of menthol versions – formerly the most popular flavor – fell slightly, sales of fruit and sweet flavored devices rose from 29 percent to nearly 41 percent.



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