City Plans to Sue E-Cig Retailers To Stop Underage Tobacco Use

Nancy Harty
November 12, 2018 - 3:49 pm

Nancy Harty

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- In its latest effort to stop kids from smoking, the city of Chicago plans to sue eight online retailers it caught selling e-cigarettes to minors.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city is seeing its lowest level of tobacco use among kids, thanks to a multi-pronged approach that includes raising prices and the smoking age to 21. But more needs to be done, he said.

"They really want to create addicts for the long term, not deal with quitting in the short term," Emanuel said of the companies in the lawsuit.

Rosa Escareno, commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, said BACP and the Department of Law ran a sting with a minor last month that found eight out of 40 online retailers took orders, processed payment and delivered vaping products without ever asking for proof of age.

City Corporation Counsel Ed Siskel said vaping products come in flavors such as green apple candy and powdered donut to appeal to kids.

In addition to the sting, Chicago has cited 15 brick-and-mortar retailers for selling to minors and it is sending letters to e-cigarette manufacturers that it believes are engaging in deceptive marketing.

Siskel said they are prepared to issue subpoenas if they do not get the information they want.

WBBM is waiting for comment from several of the retailers named in the suit.

The city said it plans to file suit tomorrow against ELiquid Depot, Kandypens Inc., Major League Vaping, Mig Vapor, Sea100, Sex Vapor, Suorin USA, and Vista Vapors.