Vermont vape shop fined $50k for advertising ‘virtues of e-cigarettes;’ Closing imminent
While much has been said about the potentially unconstitutional Indiana vaping laws that are currently threatening hundreds of local vape shops, Vermont Vapor in Castleton is facing a $50,000 fine for a somewhat lessor combination of infractions. The Attorney General’s office is slapping this costly financial penalty on the vape shop’s owner for allegedly advertising about the many health benefits and virtues of e-cigarettes and vaping technology.
Much like Pennsylvania, Vermont seems to have its fair share of highly restrictive vaping laws. According to the state’s Consumer Protection Act’s, vape shop owners are prohibited against “unfair or deceptive acts and practices in commerce.” Apparently, the marketing of vaping products as significantly healthier alternatives to smoking is a financially catastrophic legal infraction in the beautiful state of Vermont.
Owner of Vermont vape shop gets a lawyer
The story was picked up by the online news publication VTDigger. According to the website, when vape shop owner Adam Tredwell was issued the $50,000 civil penalty for allegedly making “misleading or false claims about the virtues of using e-cigarettes” both on the shop's website and Facebook page.
The ordeal began some eight years ago, and Tredwell remained dedicated that he wasn’t going down without a fight. He immediately hired a lawyer, but the Vermont Attorney General was largely unimpressed.
“The attorney general’s office says Vermont Vapor ‘makes smoking cessation claims’ on its website even though e-cigarettes are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a tool to help consumers quit smoking. Vermont Vapor was also accused of claiming ‘e-cigarettes don’t generally fall under smoking bans’ and providing free samples in its store, a practice now banned under federal law.”
Tredwell disputes these claims in their entirety. To complicate matters even further, he also claims that he was demonized by the Vermont Attorney General for calling himself “Dr. Tredwell” in his marketing campaigns.
“If you have a doctorate that’s what ‘doctor’ means,” says Tredwell. “I never claimed I was a medical doctor.”
So, as the legal infractions began to mount, the law school graduate-turned-vape shop owner was offered a deal by the state of Vermont. Pay the $50,000 fine and stop your shenanigans, or “see you in court,” as the Trumpster might say.
Instead, Tredwell is refusing to pay the fine, deciding to enter early retirement, and leaving the state of Vermont forever. His parting words to the VTDigger reporter were, “I’ve fought the good fight for eight years, and I’m not fighting anymore. I quit.”
And another one bites the dust.
(Related Article: VERMONT'S 92% VAPING TAX SENDS SHOCKWAVES)