State Attorney General Ashley Moody announced on Thursday that her office is taking legal action against two Florida vaping companies marketing to minors and failing to properly verify the age of their customers.
In October, Moody launched an investigation into 21 companies selling vaping products in Florida and using marketing tactics that appear to target minors. Thursday’s actions against Creative Vape Labs Inc. d/b/a Monster Vape Labs and Lizard Juice, L.L.C. stem from Moody’s ongoing investigation.
“I am appalled at the marketing of these addictive products to minors by the defendants in this case. These companies’ marketing practices include labeling and advertising similar to children’s breakfast cereal products, among others, and video game giveaways, to entice our children to buy their addictive products. As Florida’s Attorney General, and a mother, I will not allow these companies, or any other vaping business, to violate the law and target our children with products that are addictive and particularly harmful to their still developing minds and bodies,” Moody said on Thursday.
According to a 2019 Florida Department of Health report, e-cigarette use among Florida high school students increased 63 percent from 2017 to 2018. The report claimed that nearly one in four Florida high school students now admits to vaping. Another study found many young people may not know that vaping products contain nicotine. DOH is now reporting 119 cases of vaping-related pulmonary illnesses statewide—including two deaths. Florida law currently prohibits the sale or delivery of nicotine products to anyone under the age of 18.
Earlier this year, Moody worked with state lawmakers on legislation to prevent the sale and marketing of vaping products to minors. SB 810 would strengthen age-verification requirements; ban flavors that attract kids; bringing age restrictions in line with federal guidelines; and require vaping education classes for minors caught in possession of e-cigarette devices and products. The legislation passed both houses of the Florida Legislature, but has not yet been sent to the governor.
Moody’s action seeks to enjoin Monster Vape Labs and Lizard Juice from marketing to minors—including a ban on the defendants’ use of cartoons in the advertising of products that contain nicotine. The court action also seeks to require the defendants to use age-verification procedures to prevent the sale or delivery of vaping products to minors. Additionally, Moody’s Office is seeking civil penalties and court costs.