Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Friday a four-year settlement with two vaping products companies in the San Fernando Valley that includes payment of a $350,000 penalty.
In addition to the monetary payment, NEwhere Inc. and its subsidiary VapeCo Distribution LLC, both in Chatsworth, must adhere to strict regulations to ensure the companies do not advertise or sell their products to children. The companies operate two websites offering vaping devices and products.
Feuer’s office last October took legal action against the companies to keep both from targeting youth in marketing activities, selling vaping products online without the use of age verification methods and selling new tobacco products without FDA approval.
Just days after filing the lawsuits last year, both VapeCo and NEwhere agreed to age verifications requirements that will help prevent kids from purchasing tobacco products on their websites.
Feuer said the vape industry is following steps taken by big tobacco companies in marketing and selling harmful products to kids.
“We’re going to do all we can to put a stop to it,” Feuer said in a statement. “As our nation grapples with hundreds of cases of severe lung disease and eight deaths attributed to vaping, vape companies must change their practices so they don’t put our kids’ health at risk.”
Among the new regulations, NEwhere and VapeCo cannot engage in any activity that is intended to directly or indirectly target minors in their promotions, advertising or marketing; cannot promote any of their tobacco products on media platforms directed to minors; and cannot sponsor any musical, athletic, artistic or other social/cultural event to promote their tobacco products to California consumers.
Additionally, the companies must follow steps to make sure they are verifying the age of those buying their products; only accept payment by personal check or credit card; and only deliver to physical addresses matching personal checks or credit cards.