NEW YORK (AP) — Beleaguered 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 rise of vaping among Americans. youth, the New York prosecutor said. General Letitia James said Wednesday.
The settlement with New York, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Washington, DC marks the latest in a series of recent legal settlements Juul has reached across the country with cities and states.
The vaping company, which has laid off hundreds of employees, will pay $7.9 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the company violated the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act by marketing its products to underage users, it announced Monday. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. 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 claiming the company “chased, misled and addicted a whole new generation of kids after Minnesotans cut the youth smoking rates to the lowest level in a generation.
Like some other agreements reached by Juul, this latest agreement includes several restrictions on the marketing, sale and distribution of the company’s vaping products. For example, you are excluded from any direct or indirect marketing to youth, including anyone under the age of 35. Juul is also required to limit the number of purchases customers can make at retail stores and online.
“Juul ignited a nationwide public health crisis by putting addictive products in the hands of minors and convincing them that they are harmless,” James said in a statement. “Today they are paying the price for the damage they caused.”
James said the $112.7 million owed to New York will pay for underage smoking reduction programs across the state.
District of Columbia Attorney General Brian Schwalb said in a statement that Juul “knew how addictive and dangerous its products were and actively tried to cover up that medical truth.”
A spokesman for Washington, DC-based Juul said that with Wednesday’s settlement, “we are moving closer to fully resolving the company’s historic legal challenges and ensuring certainty for our future.”
The spokesperson added that the use of Juul products by minors has decreased by 95% since 2019, according to the National Youth Tobacco Survey. However, according to the CDC, since the surveys were administered online rather than on school campuses during the pandemic, the results cannot be compared to previous years.
In September, Juul agreed to pay nearly $440 million over a period of six to 10 years to resolve a two-year investigation by 33 states into the marketing of its high-nicotine vaping products to youth. That deal amounted to about 25% of Juul’s US sales of $1.9 billion in 2021.
Three months later, the company said it had secured an equity investment to settle thousands of lawsuits over its e-cigarettes filed by individuals and families of Juul users, school districts, municipal governments and Native American tribes.
Juul rocketed to the top of the US vaping market about five years ago with the popularity of flavors like mango, mint, and crème brûlée. But the startup’s rise was fueled by use among teens, some of whom became hooked on Juul’s high-nicotine pods.
Parents, school administrators and politicians have largely blamed the company for a spike in underage vaping.
suggest a correction