Arizona wins $22.5 million judgment against NJ vaping firm

File: A man smokes an electronic cigarette inside a vape shop in Washington, DC. (ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP via Getty Images)

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona’s attorney general has obtained a $22.5 million judgment against a New Jersey-based vaping company along with a court order permanently barring the company from selling its products in the state.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced the judgment against Eonsmoke on August 7. The company did not mount a defense to the consumer fraud lawsuit Brnovich filed earlier this year and a Maricopa County Superior Court judge issued what is known as a default judgment.

It isn’t clear if Arizona will be able to collect on the judgment. Eonsmoke’s website launches with a statement saying it has ceased operations “due to rapidly declining circumstances, coronavirus, regulatory, and competitor litigations.”

Eonsmoke has never responded to inquiries from The Associated Press seeking comment on Arizona’s lawsuit and did not do so Friday.

Brnovich sued Eonsmoke and e-cigarette giant Juul Labs in January, saying both companies violated state consumer fraud laws and targeted youth with their flavored vaping products. The lawsuit said that while Juul Labs suspended its flavored nicotine product marketing, Eonsmoke doubled down on its efforts to sell its flavored vape cartridges.

The U.S. Food and Drug warned Eonsmoke in an October 2019 letter that 96 of its flavored vaping products were illegal under federal law.

The lawsuit against Juul Labs continues and the company is defending itself against Brnovich in court. In its court filings, it denied targeting underage users with its marketing or advertising.

Juul said in January that it was focused on “working cooperatively with attorneys general, regulators, public health officials, and other stakeholders to combat underage use and convert adult smokers from combustible cigarettes.”

Juul has stopped all advertising and orders for flavored products.

The lawsuits say both companies targeted young people and contributed to an explosion of vaping use among teens. Several other states have filed similar lawsuits. The lawsuits seek the return of profits from both companies and a $10,000 fine per violation of the state Consumer Fraud Act.

“Eonsmoke is being held accountable for its unlawful conduct in Arizona, including marketing flavored vaping pods to children,” Brnovich said in a statement.

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