SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline) - Oregon Attorney General John Kroger announced on Monday that he has reached a settlement with an electronic cigarette company that will keep the distribution and sale of its product out of the state.
Florida-based Smoking Everywhere and its president, Elico Taieb, manufacture electronic cigarettes that simulate a cigarette smoking experience. The e-cigarettes contain a battery-operated heating element and replaceable plastic cartridge that is filled with chemicals, including liquid nicotine, which is then vaporized for inhalation.
The company did not seek federal Food and Drug Administration approval for its product and claimed that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to smoking tobacco products, when, in fact, no testing has been done to support this claim, Kroger claims.
Under terms of the stipulated general judgment, Smoking Everywhere must admit that it violated Oregon's Unlawful Trade Practices Act and the company must pay more than $95,000 to the Department of Justice.
The company is also permanently barred from conducting business in Oregon, as is Taieb, who must pay an additional $25,000 to cover costs incurred by the state during the litigation process.
"This settlement will help protect our teens from unsafe products," Kroger said.
This is the latest in a series of actions by the Department of Justice to keep unapproved drugs and devices off the market.
Kroger previously stopped two national chain stores from offering e-cigarettes and stopped another electronic cigarette company - Sottera, the national distributor of NJOY - from selling its product in the state. That could change if the company meets local and national standards.