Several states announced that e-cigarette manufacturer Juul agreed to pay $438.5 million to 34 states and territories. This announcement follows a two-year-long investigation into Juul’s marketing and sales practices nationwide. For years, many have accused Juul of targeting children and teens through its e-cigarette and vape marketing. Lawsuits argue that Juul deliberately marketed its e-cigarettes to children and teens through fun flavors, hip launch parties, and attractive models in social situations using its products. This is yet another development in the longstanding saga of litigation against Juul’s allegedly deceptive marketing tactics.
Juul To Pay $438.5 Million For Underage Marketing
On September 6, 2022, several states revealed that Juul will pay $438.5 million for its aggressive e-cigarette marketing tactics geared toward children and teens. In addition to this hefty sum, the settlement will restrict Juul’s marketing and sales abilities. States will place limitations on Juul’s marketing to those under the age of 35, reduce in-store displays, and curtail online and retail sales. Although Juul is still fighting the ban on its products in the United States, the company stated that this settlement is “a significant part of our ongoing commitment to resolve issues from the past.”
The settlement money will be distributed over the course of six to ten years to address tobacco use in states. Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming are amongst the states involved in the settlement.
Previous Juul Settlements & Ongoing Litigation
Juul claims that its goal is to transition adult smokers from standard tobacco cigarettes. However, none of its early ads contained this message. Instead, lawsuits argue that its marketing included adverts displaying attractive young adults partaking in Juul e-cigarettes, free samples of sweet and fruity flavors, and social media campaigns promoting its products. Also, Juul’s relaxed and flawed age verification processes allowed children and teens to get ahold of the company’s products. This $438.5 million settlement is one of many in recent years. Several states, such as North Carolina, Arizona, Washington, and Louisiana, have reached settlement agreements with Juul totaling nearly $90 million.
Back in June, the FDA ordered Juul to cease selling all of its vape and e-cigarette products in the United States. The agency’s decision came after it determined that there is insufficient and conflicting data surrounding the toxicological effects of its devices and pods. Yet, an appellate court granted Juul a temporary stay on the ban, and the FDA subsequently stayed its marketing denial order in July while it conducted a further review of Juul products. Even though Juul hopes to move past these prior marketing practices, over 4,000 lawsuits are pending under MDL-2913 for Juul’s marketing, sales practices, and product liability.