E-cigarette company Juul, which at the height of its success dominated the market with its sweet flavors, has agreed to pay $438.5 million in a settlement with 33 states and one territory over marketing its product to teens.
“Juul’s cynically calculated advertising campaigns created a new generation of nicotine addicts,” Tong said. “They relentlessly marketed vaping products to underage youth, manipulated their chemical composition to be palatable to inexperienced users, employed an inadequate age verification process, and misled consumers about the nicotine content and addictiveness of its products.”
“The state attorneys general did what they can do,” he said. “The efforts of attorneys general will succeed only if the FDA takes actions to remove from market the products that are causing the problem,” Myers said.
“The terms of the agreement are aligned with our current business practices which we started to implement after our company-wide reset in the Fall of 2019,” Juul said. “With today’s announcement, we have settled with 37 states and Puerto Rico, and appreciate efforts by Attorneys General to deploy resources to combat underage use.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) said in a statement that when he launched his state’s investigation into Juul two years ago, he wanted the company to be held liable for past wrongdoing and for it to change its practices so they would comply with the law.
“Is it the right amount of money? Is this enough to get to help the people who were hurt,” he said, adding that it’s unclear if the settlement will be enough to deter bad behavior in the future.
In 2019, Juul, faced with lawsuits and investigations, announced a “reset” designed to regain the trust of the public and regulators and took several steps to prevent teenagers from buying its products. The company halted television, print and digital advertising. After it took its sweet and fruity flavors off the market, sales fell, though the company still commands a large share of the market.