Juul Labs Inc. will pay $462 million for its role in the wave of youth vaping. The settlement includes restrictions on the marketing and distribution of vaping products by Juul. Juul has faced multiple lawsuits and charges of targeting minors with addictive nicotine products. Something is loading.
Thanks for recording!
Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed on the go. download app
NEW YORK () — E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. will pay $462 million to six states and the District of Columbia, marking the largest settlement the company has reached so far for its role in the wave of youth vaping, attorneys general in several states announced on Wednesday.
The settlement with New York, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Washington, DC is the latest in a series of recent legal settlements Juul has reached to settle lawsuits related to the how it markets addictive nicotine products. Critics said Juul was trying to appeal to kids too young to smoke.
Like some other settlements made by Juul, this one includes restrictions on the marketing and distribution of the company’s vaping products. For example, any direct or indirect marketing targeting young people, including anyone under the age of 35, is prohibited. Juul will also limit the amount of purchases customers can make in retail and online stores.
“Juul has sparked a nationwide public health crisis by putting addictive products into the hands of minors and convincing them it’s harmless,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. . “Today they are paying the price for the harm they have caused.”
A spokesperson for Juul said that with Wednesday’s settlement, the Washington, DC-based company was “on the verge of fully resolving the company’s historic legal challenges and providing certainty for our future.”
The spokesperson added that use of Juul products by minors has decreased by 95% since 2019, according to the National Youth Smoking Survey. According to the CDC, however, because the surveys were administered online rather than on school campuses during the pandemic, the results cannot be compared to previous years.
Juul rose to the top of the US vaping market about five years ago with the popularity of flavors like mango, mint, and creme brulee. But the startup’s rise has been fueled by use among teenagers, some of whom have become addicted to Juul’s nicotine-rich pods.
Parents, school administrators and politicians have widely blamed the company for an increase in underage vaping.
District of Columbia Attorney General Brian Schwalb said in a statement that Juul “knew how addictive and dangerous its products were and actively attempted to cover up this medical truth.”
In September, Juul agreed to pay nearly $440 million over six to 10 years to settle a two-year, 33-state investigation into the marketing of its high-nicotine vaping products to young people. This settlement accounted for approximately 25% of Juul’s US sales of $1.9 billion in 2021.
Three months later, the company said it had secured a stake to settle thousands of lawsuits over its e-cigarettes filed by individuals and families of Juul users, school districts, city governments and Native American tribes.
The vaping company, which has laid off hundreds of employees, recently agreed to pay West Virginia $7.9 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the company violated credit and consumer protection law of the state by marketing to underage users, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Monday. Last month, the company paid Chicago $23.8 million to settle a lawsuit.
Minnesota’s case against Juul went to trial last month, with state Attorney General Keith Ellison saying the company was “baiting, tricking and addicting a whole new generation of kids” as the rate of smoking among young people was decreasing.