Sue, Grabbit & Runne

Posted 26th September 2014 by Toby Kilroy
It had to happen sooner or later and there will be little surprise it has occurred in the Land of Diminished Personal Responsibility. An ecig user in California has filed a misrepresentation class action lawsuit against Fumizer LLC. The person is alleging that the vape company made “false claims that their e-cigarettes can aid smokers in quitting cigarettes, while neglecting to inform consumers of other health risks.”

The user, Joseph Sheppard, claims that because the packaging did not bear any warnings like traditional cigarettes that the company are implying the “products did not carry danger or risk like traditional cigarettes do and was safe to use.” By virtue of this, Sheppard also alleges that company falsely represents itself in its marketing and packaging materials.

Fumizer do make some claims on their website; they believe that they are an “industry leader in E-cigs and E-juices” and that they have the “best quality liquid in the market.” Seasoned vapers are likely to have their own reaction to these claims once they have looked at the product range on the website.

Sheppard claims the manual he received with his vape-pen makes the statement: “help you quit smoking.” It is highly likely that, given the wording, the clarifier “Can” probably precedes them. He continues that this contradicts the website where it states: “neither intended nor marked as a quit smoking aid.”

Joseph continues his argument by claiming that the website disclaimer has only been placed online in order to comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations.

Fumizer’s representation of their e-cigarette products are contradictory, hypocritical, and misleading.”

The Electronic Cigarette Company

From the website Topclassactions, Sheppard further alleges that: “Fumizer failed to list their product’s chemical ingredients. The plaintiff claims the lack of this information prevented him and other consumers from deciding whether they want to take the risk of inhaling these chemicals, especially considering Fumizer’s products contain propylene glycol, a chemical no longer used by other e-cigarette companies because of the reports of throat and lung irritation.”

Given the recent research by Doctor Farsalinos into diacetyl, the demand for detailed product information is growing. It is a matter of opinion whether or not Sheppard has adequate access to the information about vaping already in the public domain but this will surely feature in the judgement.

The lawsuit claims: “There is widespread agreement in the scientific community that further research is necessary before the full negative effects of electronic cigarette use on users’ health can be known and that until then, manufacturers, sellers and distributors of electronic cigarettes should not make any representations relating to the safety, health or benefits, if any, of electronic cigarettes.”

This is not the only incidence of vapers taking vendors to court in the States. In Utah three online companies are now facing $1.1 million in fines for alleged false advertising and misrepresentation.

When America sneezes Britain catches a cold, so they say - how long will it be until we see something similar over this side of the water?

Vape Club
Top Photo credit: toridawnrector via photopin cc

 Toby Kilroy
Article by Toby Kilroy
Toby set up Planet of the Vapes in 2012 after another major vaping site was taken down. With a history in web development and running websites for clients he was well placed to use his previous knowledge to build and run a site on the scale of POTV.