TINA.org investigated Vapex, a Utah-based company that sold e-cigarettes, and found that it falsely claimed consumers could receive a “Free Trial’’ offer, used fake testimonials, falsely claimed it won a taste test contest that didn’t exist, and made price comparisons that showed e-cigarettes were cheaper than tobacco cigarettes without any reliable data to support the claim.
- Notified company of findings
- Filed complaint with FTC
- Filed complaint with UT attorney general
- Utah Department of Commerce fined the company
February 24, 2015: After investigating Vapex LLC, the FTC sends a letter to the company informing it that the FTC will not be recommending enforcement at this time because the company is no longer in business.
August 27, 2014: The Utah Department of Commerce announces that it is citing Vapex LLC, as well as Sinless Vapor LLC, and OZN Web LLC, for multiple violations of the Utah Consumer Sales Practices Act and the Utah Telephone Fraud Prevention Act, finding, among other things, that the companies engaged in deceptive advertising. (Though the companies were fined $1.1 million and many of the websites used to sell the e-cigarettes were disabled, the Utah Department of Commerce settled the actions and agreed to collect a total of $31,150 in penalties — 2% of the original fine amounts.)
July 24, 2014: The FTC sends TINA.org a letter to confirm the receipt of TINA.org’s complaint.
July 8, 2014: TINA.org sends a warning letter to Vapex (at three different addresses) alerting it to the issues uncovered by TINA.org’s investigation and requesting that the company stop using these deceptive marketing tactics.
O2PUR E-Cig Marketer Previously Cited by Utah Faces Fines
Utah seeks hearing that executive Scott Barth violated previous agreement prohibiting misleading marketing.
Ad Watchdog Issues Warning about E-Cigarette Marketing
Review Finds Widespread Problems MADISON, CONN. September 2, 2015 — Consumers eager to try out e-cigarettes need to be wary of the flood of questionable ad claims on the Internet…
The more things change, the more misleading e-cigarette advertising stays the same.
Fines Reduced for E-Cigarette Companies that Misled Consumers
TINA.org wins appeal for release of consumer complaints against the companies.
Vapex Cited by Utah Officials: Success for TINA.org
Three e-cigarette companies face fines up to $1.1 million.
State cracks down on three e-cigarette marketers
Mike Gorrell, The Salt Lake Tribune
Consumers Getting Smoked by E-Cigarettes
Impact on Health Not the Only Issue in Unregulated Industry MADISON, Conn., July 22, 2014 — Consumers curious about trying e-cigarettes are being swindled in droves by unscrupulous companies advertising…
Vapex E-Cigarette Freestarter Kit
If e-cigarettes are your thing (and we’re not saying they should be), there are many options out there. Maybe this isn’t the best one.