Oakland-Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today sued Florida-based electronic-cigarette retailer Smoking Everywhere to prevent the company from targeting minors and making “misleading and irresponsible” claims that electronic cigarettes are a safe alternative to smoking.

“Smoking Everywhere launched a misleading and irresponsible advertising campaign targeting minors and claiming that electronic cigarettes do not contain harmful chemicals,” Brown said. “We are asking the Court to take these cigarettes off the market until the company has proven the products are safe.”

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are battery-operated devices with nicotine cartridges designed to look and feel like conventional cigarettes. Instead of actual smoke, e-cigarettes produce a vapor from the nicotine cartridge that is inhaled by the user. Smoking Everywhere, one of the largest e-cigarette retailers in the United States, claims in its advertisements that the e-cigarettes have no carcinogens, no tar, no second-hand smoke, and are therefore safe and healthy.

However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that electronic cigarettes contain a variety of dangerous chemicals, including nicotine, carcinogens such as nitrosamines and, in at least one case, diethylene glycol, commonly known as antifreeze.

Today’s lawsuit seeks to prevent the company from selling its products until there is evidence to substantiate its claims that they are safe. The lawsuit will also require the products to display the state-mandated Proposition 65 warnings of ingredients known to cause cancer or reproductive harm and seeks to prevent the company from making false and misleading claims and promoting the products to minors.

In one advertisement targeted to minors, Smoking Everywhere featured a video with radio show host Howard Stern claiming, “kids love ‘em.” The products feature flavors that appeal to youth, including strawberry, chocolate, mint, banana and cookies-and-cream.

Other ads claim that electronic cigarettes can help people quit smoking. To be advertised as a smoking-cessation device, a product must be approved by the FDA for that purpose. In fact, none of Smoking Everywhere’s products have been approved by the FDA.

The American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and other groups have expressed serious concerns about the safety of electronic cigarettes and urged that they be removed from the market until proof of their safety has been established.

Share →

11 Responses to Brown Sues Electronic Cigarette Maker

  1. Nicotine is always addictive and you should limit consuming it*”.

  2. green smoke says:

    Nicotine is a horribly addictive substance but if you use an e cig at least you are not inhaling the 100s of nasty chemicals that are in normal cigarettes

  3. Nicotine is one of the most addicting substance in this world so avoid smoking cigarettes.;::

  4. [...] tribwekchron.com/2010/01/brown-sues-electronic-cigarette-maker [...]

  5. Well since the FDA has already gotten slapped down we’ll see how Mr. Brown does. They’re certainly healthier than traditional cigarettes which are legal, and most e-cigarette makers have no problems with proper warnings. I’m sure this will be the first of many more lawsuits to come, we’ve seen this time and time again.

  6. [...] Brown Sues Electronic Cigarette Maker | Holtville Tribune · I.V. … Post a [...]

  7. While the e-cig may not be harmless it’s definitely a better alternative to smoking then a traditional cigarette. However, it should not be sold to minors whether it’s safe or not.

  8. Anonymous says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Steve Topol, Steve Topol and chris, Lindsay. Lindsay said: Brown Sues Electronic Cigarette Maker: Imperial Valley Weekly Other ads claim that electronic cigarettes can he.. http://bit.ly/8JklVm [...]

  9. Truth says:

    The e-cigarette is a very promising industry, there is an electronic cigarette association, and there are many e-cigarette retailers in favor of creating some sort of standard to this industry.

    Also, who wrote this press release? Did you know anyone can write a press release and have it appear on locations via the internet?

    This press release happens to not have an author, I wonder why?

    Also, smokingeverywhere.com has questionable advertising, there is no question about that, this is not an attack on the industry, it’s against them. Don’t judge the entire industry based off of one company.

    Let’s be adults about this and set some sort of rule, instead of acting like there was already a rule in place, there isn’t, if were gonna make, let’s do it, and every one can shut up and go back to their lives.

    Everyone is out to sue everyone else these days. Oh well. The fact of the matter is that there is many people who love the e-cigarette, so lets regulate it and make sure its safe, and lets do it in a reasonable way, lets allow people to purchase them discreetly via mail order or the internet or in stores. Cartridges must be registered just like they are by the UK government where these devices are legal.

    It’s a very simple process, people like it, lets make sure its safe and allow them to use it without waging a war against each other.

    End of story.

  10. LaughingAtYou says:

    He can’t sue Smoking Everywhere because there is already a case pending against the FDA in federal court.

    The American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, and The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids have a conflict of interest because they are funded by Glaxo-Smith Kline, Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer. Makers of all those smoking cessation products and drugs that have a 96% failure rate. A multi-billion dollar industry that wants to keep their market share at the expense of public health.

    There are a trillion times more nitrosamines (AKA carcinogens) in peanut butter, red meat and a few dozen other staple foods than there are in electronic cigarettes. Not to mention the ones contained in real tobacco smoke.

    Mr. Brown is ill-informed and is hoping to make a quick buck on a frivolous lawsuit.

  11. Marlin Sanders says:

    This is just another leach on society (lawyer) trying to make a buck!

Get Adobe Flash player
%d bloggers like this: