FDA Inspection Blitz Leads to More than 180 Warning Letters to Retailers for the Illegal Sale of Youth-Appealing Elf Bar and Esco Bars E-Cigarettes

From Food and Drug Administration

On June 22, 2023 FDA announced it has issued warning letters to 189 retailers for selling unauthorized tobacco products, specifically Elf Bar products.  Both brands are disposable e-cigarettes that come in flavors known to appeal to youth, including bubblegum and cotton candy.  The warning letters are the result of a nationwide retailer inspection blitz.  The FDA continuously monitors the marketplace and took these actions as emerging marketplace data led to concerns over their appeal and risks to young people.

Additionally, two studies published today in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report reinforce concerns about the risks of Elf Bar products among young people.  The first study assessed retail sales of e-cigarettes, which typically align closely with patterns of youth use.  This study found Elf Bar was the most popular disposable e-cigarette sold in the U.S. in December 2022.  The study aligns with recent findings from the International Tobacco Control Survey, which found that as of August 2022, Elf Bar is the top disposable e-cigarette brand reported among persons ages 16 to 19 in the U.S.

A second study showed thousands of e-cigarette exposure cases reported to U.S. poison centers in the past year, most of which were among kids younger than 5 years old.  Among the limited number of cases with brand information reported from April 2022 to March 2023, Elf Bar was cited more than all other brands combined, with nearly all Elf Bar cases occurring among children younger than 5 years old.


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