JUUL to pay $438.5 million due to advertising to teens

The popular vaping company JUUL has allegedly agreed to pay the sum of $438.5 million as part of a settlement over marketing its vaping products to teens.

JUUL products removed from the US. Graphic by Eric Burgon

JUUL, the popular e-cigarette company, has agreed to pay $438.5 million to 35 different states after a two-year investigation into its marketing tactics and sales, its lack of warnings on its products, and the possible health risks involved with usage of the product. 

Additionally, JUUL has agreed to financial terms within the settlement, detailing that JUUL would be severely limited in a series of strict injunctive terms,specifically related to their marketing and sales practices. In July, JUUL products were removed from US markets by order of the Food and Drug Administration. According to the FDA, JUUL’s toxicological profile lacked sufficient evidence demonstrating that the products would support the protection and safety of the general public’s health. 

Previously, JUUL underwent rounds of lawsuits from the state of North Carolina, detailing a $40 million settlement. This was preceded by another lawsuit in 2019 by North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, The state claimed that JUUL marketed its products to children and even misled the public about the risks associated with using the products.

 JUUL has established programs in the past with the intention of deterring youth from using their products. In 2019, JUUL established a “youth prevention camp” , stating that “Youth use of vapor products remains an urgent issue, and JUUL Labs shares public concerns over the reported increase in use among youth, which is why we have initiated meaningful measures to limit access and appeal of JUUL products to those underage.” 

The youth prevention camp was launched in November 2018, with the goal to “combat youth usage in order to preserve the potential public-health impact for the 34 million adult smokers in the United States.” JUUL also paid $10,000 to each of the schools that agreed to implement a company-sponsored curriculum, according Forbes. 

The New York Times stated that each state argues that JUUL should have known their products were hooking teenagers on high levels of nicotine. Around 2,000 cases have been filed by counties, school districts, and cites. As a result, JUUL has agreed to stop funding education programs, stating that they will also no longer depict people under the age of 35 in advertisements.

“[This win will] go a long way in keeping JUUL products out of kids’ hands, keeping its chemical vapor out of their lungs, and keeping its nicotine from poisoning and addicting their brains,” said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein.

In a recent study conducted out of the college students who used tobacco/nicotine products 75% reported using e-cigarettes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that e-cigarette usage in ones teen’s and 20’s can lead to harm in brain development. For students struggling with addiction or mental health please visit UVU Mental Health services on campus. 

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