The Food and Drug Administration cracked down on Internet distributors of nicotine-laced lollipops and lip balm, declaring them illegal and ordering that 4 pharmacies stop sales immediately. The lollipops in particular pose a risk to children because they look like regular candy, the FDA warned. "The quantity of nicotine could be potentially dangerous to a small child," said FDA attorney David Horowitz.
The agency can't say for sure if the lollipops pose an immediate health risk to adult smokers, because they are made with a different form of nicotine than is found in nicotine gum, patches or other approved products. That form of nicotine has not been tested for safety. That alone makes the lollipops and lip balm illegal to sell, but the Internet pharmacies also had been wrongly dispensing them without a doctor's prescription, the FDA said.
The FDA gave the 4 pharmacies 15 days to tell the government they're stopping sales or risk further legal action. The FDA is reviewing other unconventional nicotine products, such as a Virginia company's nicotine lozenge, to see if they also qualify as drugs being sold illegally.