WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. regulators are targeting four vaping companies for inappropriately pushing their flavored nicotine products through so-called influencers on Facebook, Twitter and other websites

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday sent warning letters to companies that used paid social media specialists to pitch their fruity and candy nicotine formulas to their online followers.

The posts didn't include a mandatory federal warning that the liquids contain nicotine, which is addictive.

The action comes as the FDA and other government agencies struggle to reverse what they call an epidemic of underage use of e-cigarettes. Researchers have tied the trend to a surge in social media posts about vaping, including company-funded promotions.


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