The furrowed brow of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was recently trained on Tempe, Arizona-based Smart Toothpicks, and more specifically, violations of FDA doctrine relating to their Peppermint Ice Nicotine Toothpicks. According to a warning letter from the agency, the company is guilty of three specific violations.
First, and most prominently, Smart Toothpicks sold a tobacco product to a person under 18 years of age through their website.
Making it worse is that the product in question is not registered as an authorized modified risk tobacco product. And then the company failed to place any type of warning on the product, or in its marketing, related to the effects of using a nicotine product.
Believe it or not, the company actually sells three flavors of nicotine-infused toothpicks – Cinnamon, Wintergreen and the aforementioned Peppermint Ice in various quantities that range in price from $6.99 to $90. The company describes the toothpicks as a breath-freshener that can provide “nicotine satisfaction without smoke damage”, and “addresses the oral fixation element of smoking without a cigarette.”
The toothpicks are sold in packs of 20, which each one containing about the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette.
FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, was quoted as saying, “The FDA has been holding retailers and manufacturers accountable for marketing and sales practices that have led to increased youth accessibility … of tobacco products. We’re especially concerned about novel nicotine-containing products, such as these … toothpicks, being sold and marketed to youth.
The FDA has requested that Smart Toothpicks provide a written response to the letter within 15 working days with a description of its corrective actions and plan for future compliance. Failure to do so could lead to fines and seizure of company assets.
Highlighted in the FDA’s release about this situation was how their Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan will look to continue taking action against manufacturers and retailers who market or sell these products to minors.