Popular Chinese-made e-cigarette aims to appeal to kids, Senate Majority Leader claims

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to investigate a disposable e-cigarette brand, Elf Bar, which has been gaining popularity.

Multiple media sources, including the New York Post, report that Schumer is concerned that Elf Bar is violating American advertising laws by targeting young audiences through social media. Schumer says the product’s colorful packaging and flavors, such as rainbow candy, peach mango, cotton candy, and vanilla ice cream, may be specifically designed to appeal to minors.

“Elf Bar is littering TikTok and Instagram, using influencers they pay directly, to push the e-cig to kids and teens. This kind of ploy might totally evade FDA advertising rules, and we have to get ahead of it.”

⏤ Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

This news comes as a different popular e-cigarette maker, JUUL Labs, agreed to a $255 million settlement to resolve claims that it concealed the addictiveness of its e-cigarettes to sell to consumers and minors. 

 According to the Centers for Disease Control, most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance that can harm adolescent brain development. In addition to nicotine, e-cigarettes can also contain other harmful substances. 

Elf Bar is based in Shenzhen, China, where the sale of flavored vapes is banned. In fact, China has joined a handful of countries that only allow the sale of tobacco-flavored vapes, as part of efforts to curb the increasing use of e-cigarettes among young people. 

Meanwhile, Taiwan has taken even stricter measures, making all vaping illegal and imposing harsh penalties on those caught selling or using e-cigarettes. The penalties range from $330,000 to $1.65 million in U.S. dollars for sellers and $66 to $330 for vapers.