BOSTON – Attorney General Maura Healey sent a cease and desist demand letter to Kilo E-Liquids (Kilo), an online retailer of electronic cigarette devices, ordering the company to stop sales to Massachusetts residents after an investigation revealed it violated Massachusetts laws regulating the sale and advertisement of tobacco products.
The demand letter, orders California-based Kilo to stop selling their products online in Massachusetts until the company can demonstrate they are in full compliance with state laws. The letter also prohibits the company from advertising vaping products on all websites directed at youth.
“E-cigarette companies have taken a page out of the playbook of the tobacco companies to get young people addicted to their products,” said AG Healey. “If these retailers are operating in our state, they must comply with Massachusetts laws and keep their products away from children.”
The AG’s Office’s began investigating Kilo after receiving a complaint about an advertisement for Kilo’s vaping products on an educational website frequented by K-12 students, teachers, and schools. Investigators also determined that Kilo does not adequately verify the age of customers purchasing vaping products, which include flavored nicotine e-liquids such as “green apple candy” and “strawberry milk,” from its website.
Massachusetts law and regulations set the minimum legal age to purchase electronic smoking devices at 21, and imposes two requirements on online retailers of these products to verify a purchaser’s age: use a commercially available database to verify the age and identity of purchasers; and use a method of mailing, shipping, or delivery that requires the signature of a person who is of the minimum legal age before the package is released.
In July 2018, AG Healey announced her office’s investigation into JUUL Labs Inc. and other online e-cigarette retailers that sell JUUL and JUUL-compatible products over concerns about the marketing and sale of electronic smoking devices and products to minors. The AG’s Office also sent cease and desist demands to two online companies that host three websites, Direct Eliquid LLC, which operates directeliquid.com and buyjuul.com, and Eonsmoke LLC, which operates eonsmoke.com, ordering the retailers to stop selling JUUL and other electronic smoking products in Massachusetts without an adequate age verification system as required by state regulations instituted by AG Healey in 2015. These investigations are ongoing.
The AG’s Office has increasingly heard from school leaders and parents across the state who are concerned about the increased use of vaping products by young people, particularly those sold by JUUL. The AG has been reviewing industry practices that are causing harm to minors who can easily obtain these products from retailers.
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Samantha Shusterman and Daniel A. Less of the AG’s Consumer Protection Division, and Investigator Ciara Tran of the AG’s Civil Investigations Division.