Online vaping companies settle Chicago lawsuit by paying nearly $600,000 in fines

Eight online vaping companies are settling a lawsuit filed by the City of Chicago by paying $584,500 in fines.

The lawsuit claimed that the online vaping companies were illegally selling vaping products to minors in Chicago.

In a statement on Wednesday, city officials said the companies have also agreed to make "significant changes" to their business practices. They will start using enhanced age verification processes and stop using cartoon characters in their marketing. Six of the companies have agreed to stop selling e-cigarettes and vaping liquid in Chicago.

The City of Chicago filed the lawsuit in 2018 after a sting showed that it was easy for young people to buy the companies' vaping products. The city also noted in its lawsuit that several vaping products had child-oriented names like "Cotton Candy, Froot Loops and Twinkies."

The American Academy of Pediatrics said that studies show children and adolescents who vape are significantly more likely to start using traditional cigarettes.