Warning letters have been sent to companies using Web sites to sell illegal flavored cigarettes to U.S. consumers, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday.
A ban on the sale of candy- or fruit-flavored cigarettes that took effect Sept. 22 is meant to reduce the number of children and teens who start smoking.
The companies that received the letters were told to stop marketing and selling flavored cigarettes or to take other actions to make sure the products comply with the law. Failure to heed the warning could result in seizure or injunction. The companies were given 15 days to tell the FDA what measures they've taken.
"FDA takes the enforcement of this flavored cigarette ban seriously," Dr. Lawrence R. Deyton, director of FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, said in an agency news release. "These actions should send a clear message to those who continue to break the law that FDA will take necessary actions to protect our children from initiating tobacco use."