Electronic cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs has agreed to pay approximately $440 million to settle a two-year, 33-country investigation into the marketing of high-nicotine vaping products.which has long been blamed for sparking a controversial increase in teen vaping.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong announced the settlement Tuesday on behalf of states plus Puerto Rico, which met in 2020 to investigate early promotions and allegations made by Juul about the benefits of its technology as an alternative to smoking.
The agreement, which includes several restrictions on how Juul markets its products, Solving one of the biggest legal threats facing the embattled company, which still faces nine separate lawsuits from other countries. Additionally, Juul faces hundreds of personal lawsuits filed on behalf of teens and others who say they have become addicted to the company’s vaping products.
State investigations found that Juul has marketed e-cigarettes to underage teens through launch parties, product giveaways, advertisements, and social media posts. Using younger models, according to a statement.
“We think this will go a long way toward stemming the influx of young people to vaping,” Tong said at a press conference in his Hartford office.
“I have no illusions and cannot say that this will stop young people from vaping,” he said. It’s still an epidemic. Still a big problem. But we’ve basically taken a large portion of what was once market leader, and by his behavior, he’s been one of the major offenders.”
438.5 million USD will be paid over a period of six to ten years. Tong said the Connecticut payments of at least $16 million will go to vaping education and prevention efforts. Juul has previously settled lawsuits in Arizona, Louisiana, North Carolina and Washington.
Total agreement up to About 25% of Juul’s $1.9 billion sales last year. It is an “agreement in principle,” Tong said, meaning that countries will finalize agreement documents in the coming weeks.
Most of the restrictions imposed by Tuesday’s deal will not affect Juul immediately, which I stopped using parties, gifts, and other promotions after coming under scrutiny several years ago.
Teen e-cigarette use has skyrocketed after the launch of Juul in 2015, prompting the US Food and Drug Administration to declare teen vaping an “epidemic”. Health experts said the unprecedented increase threatens to associate a generation of young people with nicotine.
But since 2019, Juul has mostly been on the decline, removing all ads from the US.. Remove fruit and candy flavors from store shelves.
The biggest hit came earlier this summer when The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has moved to ban all Juul e-cigarettes from the market. Juul has challenged this ruling in court and since then The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has reopened its scientific review of the company’s technology.
The FDA review is part of a broader effort by regulators to force scrutiny of the multibillion-dollar e-cigarette industry after years of delays. The agency has licensed a handful of Juul’s competing e-cigarettes to adult smokers looking for a less harmful alternative.
Yes good Juul’s initial marketing focused on young urban consumers, and since then the company has continued to market its products as an alternative source of nicotine for older smokers.
“We remain focused on our future while fulfilling our mission to prevent adult smokers from smoking cigarettes, the leading cause of preventable death, while combating the use of minors,” the company said in a statement.
Juul has agreed to refrain from a number of marketing practices as part of the settlement. They include not using animations, paying social media influencers, representing people under 35, advertising on billboards and public transportation, and placing ads at any point of sale unless 85% of your audience is an adult.
The deal also includes Restrictions on where Juul products are placed in stores, age verification on all sales, and restrictions on retail and online sales.
“These are some of the strictest mandates ever in any industry, which is very important because at the end of the day it is about protecting our children and protecting us all from very significant public health risks,” Tong said. . “
Juul initially sold their high-nicotine capsules in flavors like mango, mint, and cream.. The products have become a disaster in American high schools, with students vaping in bathrooms and hallways between classes.
But recent federal survey data shows that Teens were staying away from the company. Most teens now prefer single-use e-cigarettes, some of which continue to be sold in sweet and fruity flavors.
In general, the survey showed Nearly 40% reduction in teenage vaping rateMany children have been forced to learn from home during the pandemic. However, federal officials cautioned against interpreting the results because they were collected online for the first time, rather than in the classroom.
(with information from AP)