Los Angeles City Attorney Files Injunctions Against E-Cigarette Companies – L.A. Weekly

Just as health care and anti-smoking advocates were making progress in reducing the number of teen smokers in the United States 25 years ago, along came electronic or e-cigarettes.

First introduced to the global market in 2004 by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik, e-cigarettes have gained in popularity in both the United States and the United Kingdom. “Vaping,” a simulated smoking technique using e-cigarettes to heat a liquid to generate a vapor and then inhaling it, are popular among young adults and teenagers.

Much like tobacco manufacturers, e-cigarette companies have targeted young adults and teens in their marketing campaigns, using slick, colorful ads and selling their products in various flavors.

But law enforcement officials have long been suspicious of how electronic cigarettes are marketed, and last week Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer filed injunctions against three e-cigarette companies: Los Angeles–based VapeCo and its parent company, NEwhere Inc.; and Kandypens Inc.

The lawsuit alleges the companies failed to take necessary legal steps to ensure minors do not purchase vaping products on their websites.

“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,” Feuer said in a statement. “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.”

On multiple occasions, Feuer’s office was able to purchase various e-cigarette products from the defendants’ websites during undercover operations, posing as teen customers and using fake email accounts and a prepaid gift card. At no point did the companies request a valid form of government identification or otherwise verify the age of the customer, as required by California law, according to the

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