The City of New York filed on October 9, 2019, a lawsuit in federal district court against 22 national online e-cigarette retailers for allegedly selling their products to underage New Yorkers. The complaint alleges the online retailers do not have age verification systems in place and engage in marketing directed toward minors in violation of city law. In addition to the city code section prohibiting the sale to individuals under 21 years of age, the City is alleging violation of its public nuisance code provisions. Access the City’s press release and its complaint here.

Concerns with flavored tobacco products – particularly vapor products – and their alleged appeal to minors has been significantly elevated in the United States in the past several months, resulting in federal and state regulators taking aggressive legal positions against online retailers that do not age-verify and/or that sell flavored vapor products (and, in some cases, certain states and localities banning all flavored tobacco products).