Former wrestling legend Hulk Hogan and former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson sell flavored nicotine vapes that are popular among teenagers, although the Food and Drug Administration recently took action to stop sales of the illegal products.
Last year, Tyson and Hogan launched disposable nicotine vapes in eye-catching, colorful packaging and designs through their Tyson 2.0 and Immortal by Hulk Hogan brands.
The devices are sold in fruit and dessert flavors such as apple gummies, strawberry shortcake and cotton candy.
Critics accuse the muscleheads of marketing products aimed at younger vapers.
“It’s a sad day for so-called celebrities to be promoting products that are dangerous to children,” Jim Carroll, the White House drug czar under former President Donald Trump, told The Post.
“The taste is what draws kids to these products,” said Meredith Berkman, co-founder of the advocacy group Parents Against Vaping, adding that it was “disheartening” to see Hogan and Tyson using “their likeness to market flavored poisons.”
Many experts also criticized the celebrity brand ventures because the sale and distribution of the products is illegal in the United States.
“There’s this idea that because they’re everywhere, it must be OK,” Edgar Domenech, a former New York sheriff under former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, said of flavored e-cigarettes. “Well, it’s not okay. They are illegal. They are targeting our children.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.5 million youth reported using e-cigarettes in 2022, including about 14% of all high school students and 3% of middle school students.
Nearly 85% of middle and high school students reported using non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes.
So far the FDA has only approved the sale of 23 vapor productsall of which are tobacco-flavored and aimed at adults, according to agency spokesman Jim McKinney.
In recent months, the FDA has launched efforts to stem the flow of e-cigarettes into the United States, the vast majority of which are manufactured in Shenzhen, China.
In May, the agency banned imports of the popular Elf Bar and Esco Bar, among other things, and sent warning letters to nearly 200 retailers that sold the unapproved products. It also issued market denial orders for manufacturing companies almost 6,500 e-cigarette products.
Representatives for Tyson and Hogan and their brands did not respond to a request for comment.