Juul reaches settlement with six more states, while Alaska and others wait

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E-cigarette maker Juul will pay $462 million to six US states that sued the company for marketing its addictive products to minors. The company did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement, which also included California, New York, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia.

Juul Labs Inc has now settled with 45 states for more than $1 billion. It is still in court in Minnesota in a separate lawsuit that includes Alaska, Florida, Michigan and Maine.

Juul has also settled over $1.7 billion in claims to local government jurisdictions and individuals.

 In 2002, the State of Alaska filed a lawsuit against Juul Labs, Inc. and the Altria Group, Inc., the parent company of Philip Morris USA and one of the major investors in Juul for their roles in causing a dramatic rise in youth e-cigarette use. 

The Juul e-cigarette had quickly dominated the e-cigarette market, and was popularized youth-oriented features that included fruity flavors, reduced harshness to mask high nicotine content, a discreet vapor cloud, and a high-tech design. 

Alaska’s complaint alleges that Juul successfully employed the marketing strategies previously used by Big Tobacco, with updates for the digital era, including youth-oriented social media campaigns and paid “influencers.” 

The State’s Complaint alleges that Altria then conspired with Juul to maintain and expand the youth e-cigarette market JUUL had created, working to cover up Juul’s youth marketing just as Big Tobacco tried to cover up its own youth-targeted marketing in the past.

According to the 2019 Alaska Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 45.8% of Alaska high school students have tried e-cigarettes, with 26.1% reporting e-cigarette use, a significant increase from 2017, when 15.7% of Alaska high school students reported using e-cigarettes. Alaska’s complaint alleges that this dramatic rise is a direct result of the marketing strategies used by Juul and Altria to target teenagers and youth.

The Alaska complaint alleges that Juul and Altria violated the law in four ways: (1) by creating a public nuisance under Alaska law; (2) by violating  Alaska’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act in marketing and promoting e-cigarette products to youth; (3) by negligently developing, marketing, and selling Juul vaping products; and (4) by conspiring to maintain and grow a market based primarily on sales to youth. The lawsuit seeks damages, including amounts necessary to fund public health efforts aimed at addressing the youth vaping crisis, as well as abatement of the public nuisance.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Given the choice between tobacco, pot or vaping, I would suggest that vaping is the solution rather than the problem. These lawsuits are little more than a money grab. And Alaska’s participation ought to be an embarrassment. Removing vaping as an option will drive the young and dumb back to tobacco, pot and worse. Sure we want to go there? Cheers –

  2. Wait, wait, wait… so the states listed are some of the largest most aggressively left-leaning states in the nation that are actively and fiercely engaged in establishing the rights of children to make permanent & disastrous (mental and physical) decisions about their gender but these same kids, who can choose to cut off body parts and reconstruct others aren’t mature enough to make decisions about smoking? Why can’t people see that you can’t have it both ways and make it make sense? Both decisions can have lifelong PERMANENT effects on both the mind and body yet only when there is money at stake or when it fits a certain narrative or political agenda is it okay.

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