According to foreign reports, today, Washington attorney general Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against an electronic cigarette company in Orange County, California, claiming that the company sold steam products containing nicotine in a way that attracted young people and sold without verifying the age of the buyers.
The lawsuit states that the company, e-judge vapor, failed to comply with many age verification requirements of Washington law and sold steam products to Washington.
The lawsuit was filed in Jinxian high court to stop the illegal sale of e-judge vapor, to hold the company responsible for its illegal behavior and obtain economic punishment.
The attorney general’s refusal to investigate. As a result, the total amount of online sales into Washington remains unknown.
In 2016, Washington’s legislature passed a bipartisan law requiring multi-level age verification of online sales of steam products. For example, a seller of steam products must use a third-party service to verify the age of the buyer in order to confirm the buyer’s identity. Governor Jay Insley and attorney general Ferguson advocated strict age verification requirements in legislation.
In December 2019, the attorney general’s office began to investigate e-judge vapor. Investigators click on a picture of the “candy king” brand on the company’s website. The researchers then purchased one of the candy King products, and the entire process did not verify age or submit any identification during the two weeks from purchase to receipt.
“I worked with public health officials and a bipartisan elected official to ensure that we have strict age verification requirements for youth online steam sales,” Ferguson said. According to an office survey, e-judge vapor places profits above customer safety and completely ignores these requirements. We will hold e-judge vapor accountable for its violations and endangering young people. “
“We commend attorney general Ferguson for his strong action against tobacco companies that sell and sell products to children,” said Anne tegan, director of advocacy for the tobacco free children’s movement. “He’s standing up for the kids in Washington, fighting an endless battle with the tobacco giants and their allies. We commend him for his perseverance in fighting an industry that is determined to make a new generation of children addicted to nicotine and reverse decades of progress we have made in combating tobacco use. “
In the complaint, Ferguson pointed out that nearly 28% of high school students and more than 10% of middle school students use steam products. According to the U.S. Surgeon’s office, the use of e-cigarettes among young people has reached “epidemic levels.”.
The attorney general’s office asked the company to comply with the March 2020 investigation by providing specific information about its sales in Washington state, but no response was recorded.
Selling electronic cigarettes to minors is a felony with a maximum fine of $5000. Other penalties may include:
The maximum civil fine for each violation is $5000;
Revocation or suspension of the seller’s licence by the licensing authority;
Recover its investigation costs, litigation costs and reasonable attorney’s fees;
The court may order that any profits or other proceeds from the sale be transferred to the general fund of the state.
It is reported that the company also has a history of selling e-cigarettes to children. In 2018, the founders of e-judge vapor received warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it advertised products in a misleading way to attract children by describing them as similar to candy.
Assistant Attorney General Brendan Selby and investigators Tony Perkins and Eric Peters are working on the case for the office’s composite litigation unit.