Image from Juul.com
By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News
Electronic cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs
will pay $438.5 million to 33 states and Puerto Rico to settle a two-year investigation into the company’s marketing and sales practices related to teenagres’ use of electronic cigarettes. At least $14 million of that will go to Kentucky, according to Attorney General Daniel Cameron said in a news release
“Deceptive marketing and sales practices have no place in Kentucky,” Cameron said. “This tentative agreement resolves allegations that Juul illegally marketed vaping products to underage youth and misled consumers regarding the nicotine content of their e-cigarettes. It secures at least $14 million for the Commonwealth and requires the company to revise their marketing and sales practices.”
Even though Juul products are no longer the most popular e-cigarette product used by teens, having been replaced
by disposables like Puff Bar, Juul products have long been blamed for causing the national surge in teen vaping.
The release notes that the investigation revealed Juul advertised its products to youth, knowing the underage purchase of e-cigarettes is both illegal and unhealthy. It also found that Juul targeted underage users by offering free samples, popular flavors, and relentlessly marketing its products through launch parties, social media posts, and advertisements depicting young, trendy models.
In addition, it found that Juul’s original packaging misled consumers about the presence and amount of nicotine in its products. The company also misrepresented its product as a smoking cessation device without Food and Drug Administration approval to make such claims.
In June, the FDA moved to ban all Juul e-cigarettes from the market, but Juul challenged the ruling and the FDA has since reopened
its review of the products.
Under the tentative settlement, the release says, Juul has agreed to obey restrictions related to sales and the distribution of product displays, retail and online sales limits, and age verification requirements.
Juul said in a statement
that the settlement “is a significant part of our ongoing commitment to resolve issues from the past” and that the terms of the agreement are “aligned with our current business practices. . . . We remain focused on the future as we work to fulfill our mission to transition adult smokers away from cigarettes – the number one cause of preventable death – while combating underage use.”