PRINCETON — A Mercer County lawsuit that seeks to cease the vaping trade from advertising and marketing its merchandise to youngsters is now within the courts.
“The lawsuit has officially been filed as of Monday,” county commissioner Greg Puckett stated Wednesday. “Mercer County was the first in the state.”
The county fee voted earlier this 12 months to affix the JUUL Lawsuit, and is being represented within the case by Lawyer Rusty Webb of the Webb Regulation Middle.
Within the lawsuit, it’s argued that producers of e-cigarettes – JUUL being the main producer – has been advertising and marketing vaping “to teenagers as safer and less addictive than cigarettes,” Webb stated in an earlier report.
Along with Mercer County, Puckett stated Greenbrier, Raleigh, Gilmer and Mineral counties have all signed on to the lawsuit.
“Within the coming weeks, it is expected that Pocahontas, Braxton, Calhoun and Putnam will sign on as well,” Puckett stated.
Between 2017 and 2019, there was a 150 % enhance within the quantity of highschool college students utilizing e-cigarettes, Webb stated within the earlier report.
Moreover, as of 2019, 35.7 % of the nation’s highschool college students had been utilizing e-cigarettes.
Puckett stated vaping is turning into an epidemic among the many area’s youth.
“What this (lawsuit) does is it holds the firms accountable and shows the kids that it (vaping) is not a less harmful tool,” Puckett stated.
A part of the issue proper now’s that there are not any laws concerning vaping retailers and vaping companies, Puckett stated.
“It goes back to accountability and regulatory issues on building permits,” Puckett stated. “They could (right now) put a business in the middle of the mountain.”
The fee voted 2-1 in October to affix the lawsuit. Puckett and commissioner Invoice Archer backed the movement with Fee President Gene Buckner voting no.
“There’s a part of the contract that says (Webb Law Center) gets 33 percent of the gross collection and if they spend any money as far as detectives or anybody else who does outside work, they get paid $35 an hour,” Buckner stated throughout the earlier assembly. “It’s coming out of the gross income, which is what the county would get out of it.”
As an alternative, the legislation agency ought to get “33 percent off the top and leave the rest of it alone,” Buckner argued throughout that earlier assembly.
— Contact Charles Owens at [email protected]