NC Widens War On E-Cigarette Companies

Aug 27, 2019

North Carolina is stepping up efforts to combat e-cigarette addiction.  BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.

North Carolina attorney general Josh Stein says he’s filing lawsuits against eight e-cigarette companies on top of the suit already underway against industry giant Juul.    

“Today we announce the eight additional lawsuits because we want to make it clear to the marketplace that we will not tolerate e-cigarette companies enticing and targeting young people with their products.”

During a press conference call Stein told reporters the companies are aggressively and unlawfully targeting children with candy like flavors, clever packaging and social media marketing, while often ignoring age verification requirements. In May, North Carolina became the first state to sue e-cigarette maker Juul, which controls about 70 percent of the market for its role in the surge in youth vaping.

In May, North Carolina became the first state to sue e-cigarette maker Juul, which controls about 70 percent of the market for its role in the surge in youth vaping.

I’m Helen Chickering reporting

The 8 lawsuits are against:  Beard Vape, Direct eLiquid, Electric Lotus, Electric Tobacconist, Eonsmoke, Juice Man, Tinted Brew, and VapeCo are being brought under North Carolina’s Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices Act.   BPR reached out to all 8 companies and have not yet received a response from any of them.

The suits, which are brought under the North Carolina Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices Act, allege that these companies are aggressively targeting children and do not require appropriate age verification when selling these dangerous and addictive products. Attorney General Stein’s lawsuits ask for the courts to shut down sales from these companies in North Carolina.

A press release from Stein’s office notes that while tobacco use among teens dropped from 28 percent to just above 5 percent from 2000 to 2017, the rise of e-cigarettes has led the number of high schoolers using tobacco products back up to nearly 30 percent and 7 percent among middle schoolers. Confirmed health risks include nicotine addiction, nicotine poisoning, heart disease, lung disease, behavior changes, and more.