The city attorney of Los Angeles in California has filed suit against three vaping retailers, charging that they sell products online without proper age verification. He has also accused them of marketing to underage customers through social media and selling products to minors.
The L.A. city attorney is just the latest ambitious prosecutor to take aim at the vaping industry. Earlier this year, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced an investigation into JUUL Labs, the maker of the most popular vaping device on the U.S. market. Following Healey’s lead, the North Carolina AG has also begun an investigation.
Feuer is seeking injunctions against NEwhere Inc and its subsidiary VapeCo, and also KandyPens Inc. NEwhere operates three websites selling vapor products, according to Feuer: newhere.com, madhatterjuice.com, and vape-co.com. KandyPens also sells from its own website.
Feuer alleges that city employees were able to make online purchases “on multiple occasions” from the companies “while posing as teen customers using fake email accounts and a prepaid gift card.” The legal age for purchasing tobacco products in California is 21.
“Underage vaping is an emerging public health epidemic, and luring kids to use dangerous and addictive vaping products, as we allege here, has got to stop,” said Feuer in a press release. “In fact, kids shouldn’t have access to these products at all. The lawsuits we filed today send a strong message that if you put children at risk for the sake of profit, you’ll face serious consequences.”
The Los Angeles city attorney is just the latest ambitious prosecutor to take aim at the vaping industry. The city attorney is asking the court to grant injunctions prohibiting the companies from selling online without appropriate age verification, selling deemed products with FDA approval, and “targeting youth” in their marketing.