Vermont Vapor, a vape shop in Castleton, Vermont faces a fine of $50,000 from the Vermont Office of the Attorney General for violating state marketing regulations related to making claims that e-cigarettes can be used to quit smoking.
Smoking cessation claims are not allowed anywhere in the U.S. since electronic cigarettes are not approved by the FDA as a cessation product. The issue here though is that Vermont Vapor never made claims that e-cigarettes can be used as a cessation device.
Vermont Vapor had placed TV clips and customer reviews and testimonials on their website, YouTube channel, and social media channels from their customers which did make claims that vaping had helped them quit smoking, but Vermont Vapor never made this claim themselves, fully understanding that they were not allowed to.
They even state on their FAQ page that e-cigarettes are not a cessation device.
This didn’t stop the Virginia Attorney General from enforcing a penalty.
The attorney general is demanding that Adam Tredwell, the owner of Vermont Vapor, provide proof of the claims that their customers have made, besides quitting smoking. How ridiculous is that? What other proof is there? That’s proof!
The attorney general is also requiring that Vermont Vapors link to the Vermont Department of Health cessation services website from their own website and Facebook page. That’s such a strange demand. I’ve never heard of anything like this before.
Interestingly, Assistant Attorney General Toni Hamburg-Clithero started a competing vape business called Vermont Vapors, with an “s”. She received a cease and disist from Tredwell’s attorney for violating his trademark, after which she requested $1,000 from Tredwell to cover the costs of rebranding her company. Tredwell threatened to sue and then never heard back.
Some people believe this fine may be in retaliation after the legal issues Tredwell had with the Assistant Attorney General, but that hasn’t been proven.
This is believed to be the first time a vape business has been fined for claims made in customer reviews.
Adam Tredwell has stated that he has no intention of signing the enforcement agreement or paying the fine and that he has decided to close his business, exit the vape industry entirely, then move out of Vermont.