E-cigarette makers get ultimatum from feds over marketing claims

Man smokes electronic cigarette
Man smokes electronic cigarette

Five electronic cigarette makers that promise consumers their products can help them quit smoking, lose weight and improve sexual vigor must drop their claims or show that the unapproved drugs they also sell as refills for e-cigarette cartridges are safe and effective.

In warning letters sent to the manufacturers, the Food and Drug Administration says the companies' unsubstantiated claims and poor manufacturing practices violate federal law. The alleged violations include advertisements claiming that e-cigarettes can mitigate, treat or prevent nicotine addiction and, in the case of E-Cig Technology, that they can be used to inhale liquid forms of erectile dysfunction and weight loss drugs. The federal agency sees a problem with such marketing because although e-cigarettes are currently classified as drug delivery devices and not subject to the same review process as drugs, an increasing number of "smokeless" components are chemical in nature and potentially present a health risk.