Class Challenges E-Cigarette’s Safety Claim

SACRAMENTO (CN) – Smoking Everywhere, which makes electronic cigarettes that produce steam instead of smoke, misleads the public by claiming its product is not harmful though it has tested positive for human carcinogens and a poison found in antifreeze, a Sacramento man claims in a federal class action.

     E-Cigarettes are battery-operated devices that look like cigarettes and have cartridges filled with nicotine, flavors and other chemicals. They are sold online and at kiosks in shopping malls around the United States.
     Smoking Everywhere claims its product has been “toxicologically tested and it contains no known ingredients that are considered cancer-causing agents,” according to the complaint. It claims the cigarettes are infused with vitamins A, B, and C, and are actually a healthy dietary supplement, the complaint states.
     But plaintiff Bryn Garrett says the e-cigarettes have tested positive for human carcinogens, and that at least one cartridge was found to contain diethylene glycol, “a poison found in antifreeze that has been linked hundreds of deaths worldwide from tainted toothpaste and cough syrup.”
     When confronted with an FDA finding that e-cigarettes are unsafe, Elicko Taieb, CEO of Smoking Everywhere, said he is “pretty sure” the product is safe, though “we are not 100 percent sure of the side effects yet,” according to the complaint.
     Smoking Everywhere’s e-cigarette devices cost $40 to $70, apiece, Garrett says. He seeks damages for unfair competition and unjust enrichment, and an injunction demanding that the company correct its advertising.
     He is represented by Tonna Farrar with Bonnett, Fairbourn, Friedman & Balint of San Diego.

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