As e-cigarettes enjoy their rise in the market, issues of questionable legality have been brought to the forefront. It was announced today that sweets companies like Tootsie Roll have sent cease and desist letters to manufacturers of the liquid nicotine that goes into e-cigs, as they were naming their products after trademarked sweets.
Girl Scouts of the USA, General Mills Inc., and Tootsie Roll Industries Inc., have demanded that e-cigarette companies cease use of their products' names, as a way to stave off appeal to children.
"Using the Thin Mint name — which is synonymous with Girl Scouts and everything we do to enrich the lives of girls — to market e-cigarettes to youth is deceitful and shameless," Girl Scouts spokeswoman Kelly Parisi said in a statement.
The FDA have done their usual hemming and hawing about regulating the e-cigarette flavors, though a proposed regulation is in effect.
[The FDA] last month proposed regulating electronic cigarettes but didn't immediately ban on fruit or candy flavors, which are barred for use in regular cigarettes because of the worry that the flavors are used to appeal to children.
The Associated Press was able to reach Linc Williams, a board member of the American E-liquid Manufacturing Standards Association and an executive at NicVape Inc, for comment on the cease and desist.
"As companies goes through their maturity process of going from being a wild entrepreneur to starting to establish real corporate ethics and product stewardship, it's something that we're going to continue to see."
Williams said his company will be changing the names of his products to use generic descriptors for mint candies and otherwise, and will begin to remove imagery that could be appealing to children.
The sweets companies have remarked that they plan to take further legal action if the e-cig manufacturers don't substitute the trademarked names with generic names.
"We're family oriented. A lot of kids eat our products, we have many adults also, but our big concern is we have to protect the trademark," said Ellen Gordon, president and chief operating officer of Tootsie Roll Industries Inc. "When you have well-known trademarks, one of your responsibilities is to protect (them) because it's been such a big investment over the years."