INTERNATIONAL – New York City sued more than a dozen online retailers for allegedly selling e-cigarettes to underage residents, expanding a U.S. crackdown on the industry after a wave of lung illnesses tied to vaping.
The city asked a federal judge in Brooklyn on Wednesday to block the 22 online retailers from marketing and selling e-cigarettes to residents who are younger than 21. The city also demanded that the companies install systems to verify the age of customers, saying that purchases were made even when the buyers indicated they were underage.
“The kids of New York are the pride of our city, but to these companies, they’re just a source of profit,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “Preying on minors and hooking them on a potentially lethal, lifelong nicotine addiction is unconscionable.”