TALLAHASSEE, Florida—Attorney General Ashley Moody today announced a major investigation into vaping companies doing business in Florida. The consumer protection action is the most comprehensive state vaping investigation publicly acknowledged to date—looking into the marketing and selling practices of e-cigarette products by more than 20 companies selling in Florida. The announcement comes after Attorney General Moody concluded a statewide fact-gathering mission into the dramatic increase in vaping among Florida youth.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “As a mother, I cannot sit on the sidelines while underage vaping skyrockets and our next generation becomes addicted to nicotine. It’s illegal under Florida law to sell these products to anyone under 18, yet vaping among our youth is out of control. It’s my job, as Attorney General, to protect Floridians and that’s what I’m determined to do. That is why today, I announced a comprehensive investigation into more than 20 vaping companies doing business in Florida.
“Our investigation will focus on the marketing practices and online sales strategies of these companies to determine if they have intentionally targeted minors, tempting them to vape, and will also seek information to determine if these companies can support their marketing and health claims. I commit to you, that we will get to the bottom of this issue so important to the future of Florida’s youth.”
The Florida Department of Health released a report in April 2019 noting a 58 percent increase in the use of e-cigarettes among Florida high school students from 2017 to 2018. According to the report, nearly one in four Florida high school students now admits to vaping. One study found two-thirds of young persons didn’t even know vaping products contained nicotine. DOH I now reporting 68 cases of vaping-related pulmonary illnesses statewide.
The investigation will focus on assessing whether these companies are unfairly targeting minors in their marketing, failing to take adequate precautions to prevent the sale of such products to minors, deceptively and unfairly representing that their products can help smokers quit the habit without FDA approval to make such claims, misleading consumers regarding the safety and health impacts of e-cigarettes, or otherwise engaging in marketing and other business practices that violate Florida’s consumer protection laws.
To view a list of vaping companies currently under investigation by the Florida Attorney’s General Office, click here.
This summer, Attorney General Moody launched a statewide fact-gathering mission into the dramatic increase in teen vaping. Attorney General Moody visited multiple school districts and spoke with dozens of parents, teachers, school resource officers, and state and local leaders.