New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Files Suit Against New York-based Seller of Roll-Your-Own Tobacco
NEWARK – The Office of the Attorney General and State Division of Consumer Affairs has filed suit against a New York-based company, alleging that the firm violated the state’s Consumer Fraud Act through its advertisement and sale of roll-your-own tobacco to New Jersey residents.
American Thrust Tobacco, LLC, located in Plattsburgh, New York, allegedly told consumers it was legally permitted to sell roll-your-own tobacco in New Jersey when, in fact, the firm was in violation of the federal “Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (‘PACT’) Act” of 2009 and on the federal non-compliant list, according to the State’s three-count lawsuit. The enforcement action was filed in State Superior Court in Essex County.
“We allege that the company misled consumers into believing that they could legally purchase roll-your-own tobacco from the defendant,” Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said. “We’re asking that the court put a permanent stop to the company’s illegal activities and impose civil penalties for the violations it allegedly has committed.”
The State also is seeking reimbursement of its investigative and legal costs in this case.
The alleged violations of the state’s Consumer Fraud Act include unconscionable commercial practices, making false promises and knowing omissions of material facts, as well as false advertising.
“We won’t allow a business to enrich itself by misleading consumers,” said Thomas R. Calcagni, Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs. “We will not tolerate such business practices.”
The alleged violations committed by American Thrust Tobacco include:
- misrepresenting that roll your own tobacco may be sold to New Jersey consumers and delivered through the United States Postal Service, FedEx, and/ or UPS while it was included on the non-compliant list;
- misrepresenting that it had complied with all provisions of the PACT Act and other legislation;
- selling roll your own tobacco to New Jersey consumers while being included on the non-compliant list;
- failing to comply with the terms of the PACT Act and other related legislation;
- misrepresenting on its websites that it is “þroperly licensed with the USA" and "in compliance with all the rules, regulations and guidelines affecting the ever changing tobacco industry;" and
- misrepresenting on its websites that it could deliver roll your own tobacco "to your door.”
Deputy Attorney General Glenn T. Graham of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section is representing the Division in this matter. Investigator Aziza Salikhov in the Office of Consumer Protection conducted the investigation.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other
form of consumer abuse, can file an online complaint
with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey)
or 973-504- 6200.
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