Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced the state has sued Eonsmoke LLC. Eonsmoke is a national retailer of e-cigarettes and other vaping products that calls itself “JUUL compatible.” The e-cigarette lawsuit alleges that the company violated the state’s consumer protection laws by targeting minors for sales of its merchandise. JUUL was recently sued by the state of North Carolina over its marketing to kids which is a violation of both state and federal laws.
Healy announced back in 2018 that she was investigating the e-cigarette Industry. The state’s e-cigarette lawsuit is the first to arise from that investigation but is not expected to be the last.
The lawsuit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, accuses Eonsmoke of violating the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act by directly targeting young people for sales of its vaping products—including electronic nicotine devices, e-liquids, and nicotine pods—through marketing and advertising intended to appeal to youth. In addition, the e-cigarette lawsuit also accuses Eonsmoke of neglecting to verify online purchasers’ age and failing to require shipments of e-cigarettes and vaping products were received by a person 21 years or older, which is the Massachusetts’ minimum legal sales age for smoking products.
The lawsuit alleges that Eonsmoke repeatedly used a marketing campaign that directly targeted teens through social media sites such as Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. Eonsmoke’s social media marketing of its vaping products referenced youth pop culture, cartoons, and internet memes — intentionally minimizing or omitting the information that the vaping products contain nicotine. According to AG Healey, Eonsmoke also intentionally amplified its advertising on social media by using social media influencers, celebrity endorsers popular with teens, and hashtags. Like JUUL, Eonsmoke’s products contain some of the highest nicotine concentrations on the market. The Eonsmoke products come in a variety of sweet and fruit flavors, such as “gummy bear” and “cereal loops.”
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy said in a statement, “Eonsmoke took a page out of the Big Tobacco playbook by peddling nicotine to young people on social media. Our investigations into JUUL and other e-cigarette retailers continue as we seek to hold companies accountable for marketing these addictive and dangerous products to minors.”
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