NewsEvents

Rutledge Commends the Removal of Gates from Office

Says, ‘he should never hold another public office’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement on the decision by the Arkansas House of Representatives to remove Mickey Gates as a member of the General Assembly.

“The House of Representatives rightfully removed Gates today because he selfishly chose to put his colleagues and Arkansans through this costly spectacle instead of immediately resigning,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Gates lived on the taxpayers’ dime and violated their trust by not properly paying taxes, and therefore, he should never hold another public office.”

Rutledge Sues Three Online E-Cigarette Retailers for Selling to Children

Says, ‘It is unacceptable for retailers to exploit our youth’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today is taking legal action against three online e-cigarette retailers for violating State laws. By selling and shipping nicotine products and devices, including e-cigarettes, to Arkansas children without age verification, the companies are in violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA).

“These out-of-state retailers are illegally selling vaping products online that are dangerous to Arkansas children, and it’s time to take a strong stance to stop this practice in our state,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It is unacceptable for retailers to exploit our youth by selling vaping products to them illegally.”

General Rutledge filed lawsuits today against Utah-based BuyVapor.com, Arizona-based The Vape Co. and Minnesota-based Mystic Juice USA, LLC. While all three companies sold and shipped vape products to customers in Arkansas and failed to confirm the consumers’ ages, which are violations of state law, Mystic Juice also utilized eBay.com to avoid the legal-minimum-age-to-purchase requirements and used deception to bypass eBay’s own policy of not selling tobacco products on its platform. Rutledge sent a letter to eBay earlier this week demanding the removal of all electronic nicotine devices and products from its website.

Earlier this week, Rutledge issued an Enforcement Advisory to 100 online e-cigarette retailers, warning these retailers that it is illegal to sell or ship any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and e-liquids, to consumers in Arkansas. The advisory warns legal action if businesses are found selling to minors over the internet.

Each ADTPA violation is subject to a fine up to $10,000 per occurrence. To report online retailers in violation of ADTPA or learn more about the dangers of youth vaping, visit ArkansasAG.gov.

Rutledge, Educators and Doctors Discuss Dangers of E-Cigarettes at Bentonville Youth Vaping Summit

Focused on practical solutions for positive change

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today hosted the Youth Vaping Summit at Bentonville High School, welcoming more than 150 educators, physicians and parents. By partnering with Arkansas Children’s and University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS), participates received first-hand information on the health risks and long term dangers e-cigarettes and nicotine can have on children and teens.

“I often hear the misconception that vaping is safer than cigarettes for children and teens. That’s simply not true,” Attorney General Rutledge said. “I am grateful we could hear the scientific facts directly from the medical leaders in our State who see the negative impact nicotine has on our impressionable children and their future.”

Participants heard from a panel of physicians who spoke on the dangers of vaping and who have experience with the impacts of vaping on youth. They specifically addressed the damage caused to children’s lungs and overall health concerns triggered by e-cigarettes.

E-liquids are under regulated and can be cut with other dangerous products that consumers are unaware of, such as toxic THC. Dr. Joe Thompson, the former Arkansas Surgeon General, spoke on the popular yet poisonous trend of using vape pods and e-cigarette devices to consume marijuana-based products.

Rutledge moderated a panel that included a lawmaker, consumer protection expert and school leaders who also discussed what can be done at the State level to help educate Arkansans on the risks of vaping, enforce the law and find solutions to better serve communities.

Earlier this week in Little Rock, General Rutledge hosted the first Youth Vaping Summit in the State. She announced a new initiative calling on e-commerce retailers including eBay, to be aware that selling tobacco products and devices to Arkansans is against the law and can subject them to fines up to $10,000 per violation. There are additional penalties for products sold to children.

For more information on the dangers of vaping in children and to view Rutledge’s new public service announcement, please visit ArkansasAG.gov.

Youth Vaping Summit Highlights Dangers and Ease of Access to Nicotine Products

Focused on dangers and identifying solutions to the epidemic

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today hosted the first Youth Vaping Summit in the State, welcoming over 200 to Children’s Hall at Arkansas Children’s Hospital Monday. By partnering with Arkansas Children’s and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), participants received first-hand information on the health risks and long term dangers e-cigarettes and nicotine can have on children and teens.

“I often hear the misconception that vaping is safer than cigarettes for children and teens. That’s simply not true,” Attorney General Rutledge said. “I am grateful we could hear the scientific facts directly from the medical leaders in our State who see the negative impact nicotine has on our impressionable children and their future.”

Participants heard from a panel of physicians who spoke on the dangers of vaping and who have experience with the impacts of vaping on youth. They specifically addressed the damage caused to children’s lungs and overall health concerns triggered by e-cigarettes.

E-liquids are under regulated and can be cut with other dangerous products that consumers are unaware of, such as toxic THC. State Drug Director Kirk Lane spoke on the popular yet poisonous trend of using vape pods and e-cigarette devices to consume marijuana-based products.

Rutledge moderated a panel that included a lawmaker, consumer protection experts and school leaders who also discussed what can be done at the State level to help educate Arkansans on the risks of vaping, enforce the law and find solutions to better serve communities.

Prior to the Summit, General Rutledge announced a new initiative calling on e-commerce retailers including eBay, to be aware that selling tobacco products to Arkansans is against the law and can subject them to fines up to $10,000 per violation. There are additional penalties for products sold to children.

Rutledge will host the second Youth Vaping Summit at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, October 9 at Bentonville High School in northwest Arkansas. Seats are limited, but registration for the free event is available at ArkansasAG.gov/vape.

For more information about the dangers of vaping in children, please view Rutledge’s new public service announcement at ArkansasAG.gov.

At Youth Vaping Summit, Rutledge Announced Letter & Enforcement Advisory Sent to eBay and 100 Online Retailers Warning if Vape Products Sold to Teens; Launches Anti-Vaping PSA

Says, ‘if you are selling illegal products to Arkansas children, prepare to face consequences’

LITTLE ROCK ­– Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced educational and enforcement initiatives in advance of the State’s first Youth Vaping Summit held at Arkansas Children’s. Rutledge sent a letter to eBay demanding the removal of all electronic nicotine devices and products from its online sales platform and urging it takes steps to enforce its own policy against the sale or advertisement of tobacco products. In conjunction with Rutledge’s letter to eBay, she issued an Enforcement Advisory to 100 online e-cigarette retailers, warning these retailers that it is illegal to sell or ship any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and e-liquids, to consumers in Arkansas. The advisory warns of potential legal action if businesses are found selling to minors over the internet. Today’s announcement is a multifaceted approach also includes the statewide public service announcement educating Arkansans on the dangers of vaping.

“Misinformation and opportunities for youth to illegally buy vaping products online have contributed to the vaping epidemic across the nation and our State. It is my responsibility to educate our youth on the dangers of vaping and hold those accountable who break the law,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “With more children and teens becoming sick and addicted to nicotine, we cannot stand idle and watch a health crisis fester within our State. If you are selling illegal products to Arkansas children, prepare to face consequences.”

Attorney General Rutledge is warning online retailers against shipping tobacco products into the State as it could be considered a violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and violators could face civil penalties up to $10,000 per violation. This prohibition exists in order to keep these products out of the hands of Arkansas’s youth, but sellers will face additional penalties if products are sold to children.

The letter sent to eBay Inc. President and CEO Devin Wenig by Rutledge urges the company to comply with its own policy banning the sale and advertisement of tobacco products on its site. A review of eBay.com shows an extensive list of e-cigarette related products and no age verification process. In June 2018, similar action was taken when Rutledge successfully sent a letter to eBay and other retailers in banning the online sale of the extremely potent unwashed poppy seeds on their websites.

Along with the enforcement advisories and communication with eBay, Attorney General Rutledge has released this public service announcement addressing the dangers and damage caused by vaping. The public service announcement can be viewed on various networks and cable stations throughout the State and can be found on Rutledge’s YouTube page.

Attorney General Rutledge is hosting the Youth Vaping Summit for parents, medical professionals, educators and legislators at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Bentonville High School to discuss how to stop the youth vaping epidemic in Arkansas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 27.5 percent of high school students used e-cigarettes, often referred to as vaping, in 2019.

Arkansans who have questions can email the office at oag@ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

Rutledge’s Youth Vaping Summit Agenda Announced

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the agenda for Youth Vaping Summit in partnership with Arkansas Children’s and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) to be held on Monday, October 7 at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Children’s Hall. The event is a free educational opportunity for medical experts, educators, parents and law enforcement.

“As I travel the State, I’ve heard from school administrators, medical experts and parents about the dangerous and rapidly growing trend of vaping by our children,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Thanks to the partnership with Arkansas Children’s and UAMS this event will be the first of its kind in the State where experts will bring a broad and insightful perspective to how this crisis is impacting Arkansas’s youth.”

Those attending the Youth Vaping Summit will hear from Arkansas Children’s President and Chief Executive Officer Marcy Doderer, as well as physicians from Arkansas Children’s and UAMS who have experience with the impacts of vaping on youth. The first panel, Doctors on Dangers of Vaping, will be moderated by Arkansas Surgeon General Dr. Greg Bledsoe, and panelists will include Dr. Tamara Perry, Arkansas Children’s/UAMS; Dr. Robert Pesek, Arkansas Children’s/UAMS; Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., UAMS; Dr. Matthew Steliga, UAMS and Dr. Margaret Kulik, UAMS.

Arkansas State Drug Director Kirk Lane will present on the Toxic THC in Vape Pods. Rutledge will moderate a panel on Vaping Solutions from the Schoolhouse to the Statehouse to discuss education, enforcement and solutions. The panel will include State Representative Dr. Lee Johnson, Cabot Assistant Superintendent Michael Byrd, and Saline County Sheriff’s Deputy and Bauxite School Resource Officer Deputy Jennifer Tarvin.

A full agenda is included at the bottom of the email. For those interested in registering for the Youth Vaping Summit in Little Rock or Bentonville, please register at ArkansasAG.gov/vape.

Youth Vaping Summit - Little Rock
Monday, October 7, 2019
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Arkansas Children’s
Children’s Hall

8:30 Doors Open

9:00 Welcome

  • Arkansas Children’s President & CEO Marcy Doderer, FACHE
  • Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

9:15 GenZ Nic Free Video

9:20 Doctors on Dangers of Vaping

  • Moderator: Arkansas Surgeon General Dr. Greg Bledsoe
  • Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, UAMS
  • Tamara Perry, M.D., Arkansas Children’s/UAMS
  • Robert Pesek, M.D., Arkansas Children’s/UAMS
  • Matthew Steliga, M.D., UAMS
  • Margaret Kulik, M.D., UAMS

10:25 Toxic THC in Vape Pods and Devices

  • Arkansas State Drug Director Kirk Lane

10:40 Break

10:55 Vaping Solutions from Schoolhouse to Statehouse

  • Moderator: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
  • State Representative Dr. Lee Johnson
  • Chuck Harder, Deputy Attorney General, Public Protection Department
  • Michael Byrd, Assistant Superintendent, Cabot School District
  • Deputy Jennifer Tarvin, SRO, Bauxite School District, Saline County Sheriff’s Office

12:00 Closing

October
15
Tuesday

Desha County Rutledge Resource Day

McGhee Senior Center
900 West Oak Street

Mobile Office
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
Law enforcement partner: Sheriff Larry Allen
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Identity Theft and Scam Presentation
11 to 11:30 a.m.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
October
17
Thursday

Sevier County Resources Day

De Queen Senior Citizen Center
605 East Haes Avenue

Mobile Office
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
Law enforcement partner: Sheriff Robert Gentry
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Identity Theft and Scam Presentation
11 to 11:30 a.m.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
October
22
Tuesday

Montgomery County Resources Day

Mount Ida Senior Activity Center
158 Senior Drive

Mobile Office
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
Law enforcement partner: Sheriff David White
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Identity Theft and Scam Presentation
11 to 11:30 a.m.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
November
14
Thursday

Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will host the eigth annual Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hot Springs Convention Center.

The luncheon will feature a keynote address by former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, chairman of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.

The summit will include four breakout tracks: Clinical, Criminal Justice, Education/Prevention and Counseling/Recovery.

Early bird registration is now available, but seating is limited for the event, a free educational training opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. Members of the general public may also attend and will have the opportunity to hear from experts regarding prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment.

In addition to the Attorney General’s Office, the Summit is being sponsored by the Arkansas Board of Pharmacy, Arkansas Division of Behavioral Health Services, Arkansas State Board of Nursing, Arkansas State Police, Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, Office of the State Drug Director, Rotary Clubs of Arkansas, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute, University of Arkansas at Little Rock MidSouth School of Social Work.

Register today as space is limited.

For questions, contact Rachel Ellis at 501-682-3645 or rachel.ellis@arkansasag.gov.

 8:00 AMVIEW 
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