Chicago mayor takes actions against e-cigarette companies

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, along with Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), and the Chicago Department of Law have filed a lawsuit against two vaping businesses for marketing and selling flavored vaping products.

The lawsuit is the first one enforcing the city’s recent ban on flavored tobacco products.

“E-cigarettes are unhealthy and addictive, and businesses deliberately target young people in the hope they’ll develop lifelong customers,” Lightfoot said. “The City of Chicago’s message to vaping companies is clear: If you break the law, we will go after you, especially if you try to sell to our youth.”

In September, Chicago’s city council passed an ordinance banning the sale of any vaping product that creates a taste or aroma of anything other than tobacco, especially liquid nicotine products.

An investigation by BACP found that the defendant had violated the flavored tobacco ban.

“BACP takes great pride in keeping our young people safe from vaping and holding bad actors accountable,” said BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareno. “We will continue to closely monitor activity and pursue all incidents so that every e-cigarette company understands that flavored vape sales are not welcome in the city of Chicago.”

The lawsuit also alleges that the companies marketed and sold vaping products to minors. The city has previously filed numerous lawsuits against vaping manufacturers and retailers for marketing and selling vaping products to kids.

“Studies have shown that 80 percent of youth tobacco users started with a flavored product such as e-cigarettes or menthol cigarettes, and 80 percent of youth and young adult users say they would quit if flavored tobacco products were unavailable,” said Chicago Department of Health Commissioner Allison Arwady. “Yet flavors are often marketed to give youth the impression that flavored products are safer than other tobacco products. This deceit not only harms the individual but also has ripple effects across the public health system. It is imperative that we use every strategy and resource available to prevent the sale of flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.”

Liz Carey

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