It's been a struggle to crack down on the synthetic drugs because manufacturers change what they are made up of.
So now the New York State Attorney General is focusing on what's on the outside - the labels - to try to pull them from store shelves.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that the products are mislabeled and that an undercover investigation found that store employees have been telling customers how to get a "high" from smoking these types of products, despite being labeled "not for human consumption."
"We found they will give a tutorial on how to use all of these products," said Eric Schneiderman, New York State Attorney General.
In the Rochester area - Look Ah Hookah - was part of the investigation.
The Attorney General's Office said it visited two of the shops locations: Greece and Henrietta.
In each location, it said that employees showed the undercover agents how to use the products.
In total, 16 shops were a part of the investigation and a dozen lawsuits are now being filed across New York.
"The days of profiting from the sale of these sorts of products packaged deceptively, sold with misleading representations, and clearly intended for use as drugs are over," said Schneiderman.
The lawsuits target the labeling of the products in an effort to pull the products from store shelves.
The undercover investigation began in January.
"It is illegal in New York to misinform consumers, it is illegal mislabel products or fail to label products and then promote them for human consumption," said Schneiderman.
Physicians say these types of synthetic drugs have stronger effects than street drugs.
Emergency room visits at Strong Hospital have jumped 200-percent since 2010, according to the Attorney General's Office.
Schneiderman hopes these lawsuits pave the way for change that starts in stores and sends a message to manufacturers.
"We think this is going to lead further up the chain," said Schneiderman.
Several court injunctions are preventing some of the stores across New York from selling the products until they go to court.