Juul barred from marketing to minors in $462m vaping settlement

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JUUL Labs Inc. Virginia tobacco and menthol flavored vaping e-cigarette products are displayed in a convenience store on June 23, 2022 in El Segundo, California. AFP/File
JUUL Labs Inc. Virginia tobacco and menthol flavored vaping e-cigarette products are displayed in a convenience store on June 23, 2022 in El Segundo, California. AFP/File

Six states and the District of Columbia have agreed to a settlement of $462 million with Juul, a leading e-cigarette company, for violating laws that prohibit marketing tobacco products to minors.  

This announcement was made by prosecutors from New York, California, and four other states. The settlement comes on the heels of a previous settlement of $438.5 million with 34 other US states and is the latest setback for the e-cigarette maker.

Juul's marketing practices were found to have caused a nationwide public health crisis by exposing young people to addictive products and convincing them that they were harmless. New York Attorney General Letitia James said that Juul is now paying the price for the harm it has caused. 

James sued the company in November 2019 for glamorising smoking, using fruity, sweet, and minty flavours to attract young people, and misleading consumers about the safety of its products.

The settlement will fund programs aimed at curbing underage vaping and impose new restrictions on the sale of Juul's products. These restrictions include adding age verification requirements for online purchases and conducting regular retail compliance checks at certain stores. Juul will also be prohibited from marketing to young people and providing free samples to consumers.

Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Mexico have also joined the settlement. Juul has described this settlement as a critical part of the company's ongoing commitment to resolving issues from its past. With this settlement, Juul hopes to resolve its historical legal challenges and secure certainty for its future.