Now defunct e-cigarette company agrees to pay $ 50 million for underage marketing
Dec 10, 2021
The company targeted minors using their preferences on social media. 9 December 2021, 21:53
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Now defunct e-cigarette retailer has agreed to pay $ 50 million to resolve allegations it markets and sells vaping products to minors appealing to their social media preferences, to their liking for fruit flavors and their penchant for listening to influencers. The settlement deal was announced Thursday by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, whose office accused Eonsmoke of “a coordinated advertising campaign intentionally targeting consumers under the legal minimum purchase age for buy tobacco products “- who in Massachusetts is 21 years old. Eonsmoke has sold electronic cigarette products – including electronic nicotine devices, e-liquids, and nicotine pods – directly to underage consumers through its website, without performing any age-at-time verification. sale or delivery, said the state. “Eonsmoke coordinated a campaign that intentionally targeted young people and sold dangerous and addicting vaping products directly to minors through its website,” Healey said in a press release announcing the settlement. “We were the first to take action against this business and its owners, and today we hold them accountable and permanently stop them from carrying out these illegal practices in our state.”
An illustration shows a man exhaling smoke from an electronic cigarette in Washington on October 2, 2018
Eonsmoke closed in April 2020 amid increased regulatory oversight. Its co-owners, Gregory Grishayev and Michael Tolmach, agreed to pay a total of $ 750,000 as part of the settlement. If either wishes to sell tobacco products in Massachusetts in the future, they must obtain clearance from the Food and Drug Administration and notify the state attorney general’s office. Eonsmoke’s products contained some of the highest concentrations of nicotine on the commercial market and came in a variety of sweet and fruity flavors. Healey alleged that he directly marketed vaping products to youth through social media sites such as Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube, and included references to popular youth culture, social media influencers, endorsers of celebrities, cartoons, and internet memes that intentionally downplay or omit that vaping products contain nicotine. Between 2015 and 2018, the company did not perform any verification of the age of consumers purchasing vaping products from its website, according to the survey. Until September 2018, when the Attorney General’s Office sent a cease and desist letter ordering Eonsmoke to stop selling its products in Massachusetts, young minors across the state could freely purchase unlimited amounts of vaping products, some of which were 15 years old. ABC News
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