AG Ferguson’s sweep uncovers vapor product companies illegally selling vaping products online to minors

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced the results of a sweep cracking down on illegal internet vaping sales into Washington. 

As a result of the sweep, five companies caught violating Washington’s age verification law — including one based in Spokane — will pay a total of $132,000 to the Attorney General’s Office, which will go toward continued enforcement of the law. 

Moreover, the five companies entered into legally binding agreements to change their advertising and online sales practices to comply with Washington’s youth access law. 

The Attorney General’s Office has or will file lawsuits against two more companies for the same issues.

The sweep represents a continuation of Ferguson’s efforts to reduce youth access to vaping products.

In 2016, Ferguson helped draft Washington’s age verification law. In 2019, he co-led the effort to pass legislation raising the purchase age to 21 for vapor and tobacco products. The new minimum age went into effect on January 1, 2021. 

In September, Ferguson sued JUUL, the largest e-cigarette company in the nation, for illegally targeting underage consumers in its advertising and product design.

“Parents are working hard to combat the youth vaping epidemic, but it can be a challenge,” Ferguson said. “That challenge becomes more difficult when companies don’t respect the rules. Companies that sell vapor products in Washington must follow our laws.”

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