TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Flanked by students and law enforcement, Attorney General Ashley Moody announced a major investigation Wednesday into the practices of more than 20 vaping companies. The goal is to see if they are targeting kids.
“We will focus on whether these companies intentionally targeted minors, whether their claims regarding health effects are based in reality and whether they are using effective online verification process,” Moody said.
It’s an effort, she says, to cut down on vaping among teens – something the Florida Department of Health claims has increased 58 percent among Florida high school students since last year.
“We cannot sit back and let our children be targets for new addicts, so they will be addicted for the rest of their lives,” Moody said.
At the top of the list of companies is Lizard Juice based in Pinellas County. Owner Gary Wilder tells us he knew nothing of the investigation but welcomes it.
“There are definitely shops that are geared towards children, we are not,” Wilder said. “We do a very good job of carding people that come in the door.”
Moody said their investigation will look into the companies’ online actions.
“Our investigation will focus on the marketing practices and online sales strategies of these companies to determine if they have intentionally targeted minors, tempting them to vape, and will also seek information to determine if these companies can support their marketing and health claims,” she said. “I commit to you, that we will get to the bottom of this issue so important to the future of Florida’s youth.”
More companies could be added to the list.
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