A $462 million settlement from e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL Labs was handed down on Wednesday. The largest in history.
Juul Paying Up Big Bucks
The e-cigarette company is being forced to pay out the biggest multistate settlement in history and is in a fight for its life against the most “stringent restrictions on the company’s marketing and sales to protect and to prevent minors from vaping.”
Several Attorney Generals made the announcement this week. New York Attorney General Letitia James spoke during a press conference. “JUUL’s lies lead to a nationwide public health crisis and put addictive products in the hands of minors who thought they were doing something harmless.”
She and several other AG’s agree: “There is no doubt that JUUL played a central role in the youth vaping epidemic. Today, Juul is paying for the widespread harm it caused and will undergo severe restrictions on its marketing and sales practice.”
How Did Juul Target Kids And Teens?
The company is accused of targeting teens and children by utilizing “colorful ads featuring young models and flashing parties in New York City and the Hamptons, all while downplaying the harmful effects of vaping.”
D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb echoed James’ sentiments. “Online verification systems were riddled with flaws and loopholes that allow kids of any age to purchase the products it knew but did not care.”
They believe that Juul is setting decades of anti-smoking work back. Each state seems to be choosing whether they want to join in what is essentially a class action lawsuit at the federal level.
The D.C. portion of the settlement which is $15.2 million is the largest litigated settlement negotiated under the Consumer Protection Procedures Act claims Schwalb who revealed that at least half of the money will be dedicated to fixing “public health damages that JUUL caused.”
Juul Is Fine With The Settlement
The nicotine company seems to hold no malice with the multistate settlement. They released a statement to ABC News agreeing to fully cooperate as if they had any other choice.
“With this settlement, we are nearing total resolution of the company’s historical legal challenges and securing certainty for our future. We have now settled with 47 states and territories, providing over $1 billion to participating states, in addition to our global resolution of the U.S. private litigation. Since our company-wide reset in the fall of 2019, underage use of JUUL products has declined by 95% based on the National Youth Tobacco Survey.”
In fact, Juul is on their own “path” to do better. “Now we are positioned to dedicate even greater focus on our path forward to maximize the value and impact of our product technology and scientific foundation,” claims the spokesperson for Juul.
Ultimately, in addition to the gigantic settlement, “JUUL must abide by strict advertising restrictions that prevent it from engaging in harmful marketing practices in the future.”
Parents and lawmakers are hoping this move sees a decline in the number of teens and children who are vaping or suffering from vaping-related health issues.