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Under fire from state AG, retailer of e-cigarette liquids halts online sales in Massachusetts

California-based Kilo E-Liquids has stopped selling online vaping products in Massachusetts, according to its website, which states: “Unfortunately, we cannot temporarily accept and process orders from residents of Massachusetts and Illinois.”

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office sent the manufacturer of vaping liquids a cease and desist letter on Feb. 5 stating that “the purchasing process on kiloeliquids.com does not use any kind of database to verify that the identity of the purchaser or that the age of the purchaser is 21 or older.”

“Instead, a youth can purchase vaping products at kiloeliquids.com simply by entering a wholly unverified date of birth on your website’s home page to gain access to the entire website, including its purchase page, so long as the inputted date equates to the purchaser being at least 21 years old,” the letter reads.

This perfunctory measure does not comply with the plain requirements of Massachusetts law for all purchases.”

It continued, “Moreover, packages mailed to consumers from kiloeliquids.com do not require an adult (i.e., a person at least 21 years old) to sign for the package, constituting a further violation of Massachusetts law.”

Healey’s letter also notes “advertisements for Kilo’s ‘IK’ vaping device have appeared on myhomeworkapp.com, a website designed for K-12 students, teachers, and schools.”

“Your device has been featured in an advertisement displayed next to tenth-grade history, English, algebra, and biology assignments,” the letter stated.

The Attorney General demands in the letter that the retailer “immediately cease engaging in the acceptance of orders from or causing deliveries to be made to any address” in the commonwealth until the retailer “demonstrate to the AGO’s satisfaction that kiloeliquids.com is in full compliance” with Massachusetts law and that the retailer cease “advertising any of your vaping products on websites directed to people under the age of 21 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts such as myhomeworkapp.com.”

The letter warns that “failure to cease immediately from engaging in the practices identified above will cause this office to conclude that any such future violations are knowing and willful.”

Illinois, where the age to buy tobacco products is 18 or older as opposed to Massachusetts which raised the age to 21 in January, has a similar law which reads that “for sales made through the internet or other remote sales methods,” age must be verified by “performing an age verification through an independent, third-party age verification service that compares information available from public records to the personal information entered by the person during the ordering process that establishes the person is 18 years of age or older.”

Kilo E-Liquids on its main page has the notice that it “is temporarily putting a hold on all orders. Please subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when we continue shipping. Thank you and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Healey is the keynote speaker Friday, March 1, at Vaping and Our Youth Conference at Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School.

Last summer, Healey launched an investigation against Juul, the largest vaping company in the country, to determine whether it intentionally markets to minors – something the Food and Drug Administration has warned manufacturers and retailers of e-nicotine products about – and whether it tracks underage use of its products.

Anne-Gerard Flynn/Masslive