According to a recent announcement, e-cigarette seller, Eonsmoke, is to pay almost $51 million as settlement after Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy brought civil claims against the e-cigarette company for illegally marketing flavored nicotine pods to underage consumers.
According to the attorney general’s office, the New Jersey-based vaping company had designed its sweetened nicotine pods to be compatible with the popular vaping pens from Juul, while making them easily concealable by using designs such as fitness bands or common USB drives. The designs were made to appeal to minors.
The settlement of the case will draw from two parties: Eonsmoke LCC with $50 million to the state, and the company’s co-owners, Gregory Grishayev and Michael Tolmach, with another $750,000. Maura Healy’s office alleges that Eonsmoke, which dissolved in 2020, has violated the state’s consumer laws by targeting minors of age in ads for their vaping products on social media.
In the Thursday announcement, Healy stated, “Eonsmoke coordinated a campaign that intentionally targeted young people and sold dangerous and addictive vaping products directly to minors through their website. […] We were the first to take action against this company and its owners, and today we are holding them accountable and permanently stopping them from conducting these illegal practices in our state”.
Complaints filed by Healy’s office in 2019 and 2020 stated that Eonsmoke’s vaping products were pushed to underage consumers of social media platforms, such as Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. Their youth-targeted ads containing a variety of popular culture references, as well as celebrity endorsements, social media influencers, and internet memes that disregarded or downplayed the nicotine in vaping products.
Eonsmoke was also forced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to pull almost 100 of its vaping products from sale given a lack of proper authorization to market them.