Juul to Pay $462M to Six US States Over Youth Addiction Claims

    Juul to Pay $462M to Six US States Over Youth Addiction Claims
    Last updated Apr 14, 2023
    Image credit: nbc


    • On Wednesday, E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc agreed to pay $462M to settle lawsuits filed by six US states and the District of Columbia over allegations the company marketed to underage vapers.
    • The settlement will reportedly impose strict limits on Juul’s sales and marketing capabilities. It will also require the company to secure its products behind retail store counters and verify the age of purchasers.
    • Juul noted the use of its products by people under age 18 had fallen 95% since 2019 when the company changed its marketing practices as part of a “company-wide reset.”
    • Meanwhile, the company – which has now settled cases with 45 states for more than $1B – still faces lawsuits by Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Maine, and Alaska for falsely marketing its e-cigarettes as less addictive than cigarettes.
    • Juul has repeatedly denied targeting minors, however, it agreed to pay $438.5M to end a probe of its advertising to underage buyers last September.
    • A report released in Nov. 2022 by the FDA and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that more than 3M middle and high school students used tobacco products last year, with e-cigarettes being the most common.


    Narrative A

    Juul purposely targeted young people in its marketing and rolled back decades of progress in combating underage tobacco and nicotine use. By intentionally appealing to underage buyers while downplaying the health risks of vaping, Juul caused a nationwide public health crisis. This settlement shows that predatory marketing practices like this will not stand and that companies like Juul must be held accountable for the harm they cause.

    Narrative B

    E-cigarettes were developed to help people quit smoking, but they created a whole new generation of smokers as they contain nicotine — sometimes at a higher dose. The earlier a person uses nicotine-containing products, the stronger the addiction and the more difficult it is to quit. Until the US doubles down on taking such addictive products off the shelves and streets, teenagers will continue to consume them. This goes beyond any one company and is a regulation issue.

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