The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office is seeking injunctions against two electronic cigarette companies in the San Fernando Valley for illegal sale of vaping products online without proper age verification.
NEwhere Inc., and its subsidiary VapeCo, both in Chatsworth, are also alleged by City Attorney Mike Feuer to have sold tobacco products without federal approval and marketed their products to minors.
“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,” Feuer said in a statement.
The legal actions seek to stop each company from selling vaping products online without the use of age verification methods, selling new tobacco products without FDA approval and targeting youth in marketing activities.
NEwhere and VapeCo operate three websites offering vaping devices and products that allegedly do not have Federal Drug Administration approval. With more than 7,000 products in stock, the VapeCo.com website promotes itself as “the biggest vaping website in the world.”
The lawsuits allege that the companies use social media to glamorize youth vaping through the use of young models, sexualized content and cartoon characters. The city attorney’s office, additionally, was able to purchase various e-cigarette products from the defendants’ websites while posing as teen customers 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 a press release from Feuer’s office.