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World-first court case over ‘toxic chemicals’ in e-cigs may be next assault on U.S. e-cig industry

In what is being marketed as a “world-first” court case, two Australian manufacturers of e-cigs are being accused of including the toxic chemicals of formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acrolein in some of their products.  An organization called The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) independently tested the products after the two e-cig companies repeatedly advertised online that their electronic cigarettes and e-liquids did not contain carcinogens or other toxic chemicals commonly found in traditional tobacco cigarettes.  The ACCC alleges that this claim is false and intentionally misleading.

Even though the first-ever lawsuit might not be an immediate slam dunk for the ACCC, Chairman Ron Sims hopes that the court case will at least send a message to both the vaping community and retailers around the globe.  However, at the moment, this Australian lawsuit is going largely unnoticed by American retailers.

Are lawsuits over toxic chemicals heading towards the U.S. retailers?

The U.S. manufacturers that are following this first-of-its-kind story are growing increasingly worried that lawsuits like these might be the next anti-vaping tactic used by such powerful organizations as the FDA, the CDC, and the American Cancer Society, three federal-level institutions with very deep pockets and that many vapers consider terribly corrupt.


According to Ron Simms, the testing took place in two separate parts.

“(The first part) was to test the products, and the other was to ask (the e-cig companies) to substantiate their claims, which I think it’s fair to say in large part we allege they can’t…It is imperative that suppliers have scientific evidence to support claims that their products do not contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde…This is particularly important when, as here, products are designed to be inhaled and are being differentiated from conventional tobacco cigarettes because they are claimed not to contain toxic chemicals.”

American vaping companies have gone largely unregulated for the past ten years, and many local vape shops are the very first small business developed and managed by their owners.  While the majority of electronic devices sold are not manufactured in-house, many of the e-liquids sold within these shops are.  For American retailers advertising their products with the phrase “no toxic chemicals,” they may be at risk of a future lawsuit themselves, either here in the United States or abroad.  To further cloud the issue, in the world-first case of the Australian companies, the ACCC alleges the false advertising took place retroactively, as far back as August of 2015.


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