It was announced this past Friday that e cigarette company, Smoke Everywhere, has completed a settlement with the California State Attorney regarding the company illegally targeting minors for use of their electronic cigarette products. Electronic cigarettes make use of liquified nicotine contained in e-liquid to produce vapor smoke that also contains flavoring to give the same sensation as smoking to the user as traditional tobacco cigarettes.
Attorney General, Edmund G. Brown, Jr. made the announcement and was quoted as saying, “Smoking Everywhere aimed ads at minors and falsely claimed its products were safe,” Brown said. “This settlement stops the company from marketing these addictive products to kids or claiming they aren’t dangerous.”
The U.S. FDA maintains that since they found trace elements of diethylene glycol and nitrosamines in limited testing of foreign produced e cigs last year, that any claims of being more healthy than regular cigarette smoking should not be made. E Cigarettes are also not FDA approved smoking cessation devices.
As part of the settlement with the U.S. Government, Smoking Everywhere has agreed to cease any marketing towards minors or making false or not-yet proven by the government claims about the benefits of the devices. Specific actions that the company has agreed to undertake include:
- Marketing their products to minors and making the company website age-restrictive. Customers will have to provide a government issued ID card if living in the U.S. Before being allowed to purchase. Retail products will have to be behind the counter in any stores the product is sold and advertising must note the age restrictions on the products.
- Will no longer sell flavored cartridges such as mint, bubblegum, or strawberry that are considered to be more appealing to minors.
- Will not state that their products are safer than cigarettes unless they have competent scientific evidence to prove to the contrary (note that other major e cig brands have paid significant amounts of money for this type of research and post it on their websites, but were not party to the lawsuit by the government with Smoke Everywhere).
- Agree to implement quality control standards and submit to independent audits
- Provide a warning (Proposition 65) that the product contains nicotine and is known to cause reproductive harm, birth defects, and is highly addictive.
- Pay $170,000 in fees and penalties.For fans of vapor smoking, the goods in this decision are that Smoke Everywhere was allowed to remain open, the implementation measures are not un-doable, and in the grand scheme of the future of e cigs in the United States demonstrate specific concerns of the government that other e cig manufacturers can take note of to help make the product more acceptable to local, state, and federal authorities in the future.