On Monday, November 12th Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made it known that his office will look to file a lawsuit against a number of Chicago based electronic cigarette companies. This announcement comes about a week after L.A City Attorney, Mike Feuer, filed his own lawsuit against numerous Southern California based electronic cigarette companies.
The 8 companies included in the lawsuit include, ELiquid Depot, Kandypens Inc., Major League Vaping, Mig Vapor, Sea100, Sex Vapor, Suorin USA and Vista Vapors. Suorin USA is probably the most notable companies to be named. They make the Suorin Drop and the Suorin Air, two very well respected and top selling Pod System type devices on the market today.
Both lawsuits are geared towards the companies for allegedly selling and marketing their products to minors. Both California and Illinois increased the legal age of tobacco consumption to 21 in 2018. Mayor Emanuel will target a total of 8 companies / manufacturers in the lawsuit planned to take action on Tuesday. It is clear at this point that the city launched undercover sting operation, during which time the city was able to acquire these electronic cigarette products illegitimately.
Mayor Emanuel has a track record of being harsh on tobacco during his time in office. As mentioned before, he was an instrumental part of raising the legal age from 18 to 21. It is also important to note that Mayor Emanuel has, and will, continue to fight hard against big tobacco. He also helped pass an ordinance that requires retailers to post signage detailing the harmful effects tobacco products can have.
The city has sent 30+ letters to different manufacturers to better understand the content of their marketing material and what they will be doing to stop the sale of products to minors.
After the lawsuit was filed in L.A, the FDA also handed out more warnings to those companies named. It will be interesting to see what kind of action the FDA takes in this situation as well. Especially considering some sort of regulatory action is expected to be handed down by the FDA shortly for all electronic cigarette manufacturers and retailers.
Since the 2 city lawsuits are before any regulatory actions, it will be interesting to see if the lawsuits will simply fall through the cracks or if swift legal action will indeed take place.