The e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL Labs Inc. has reached a settlement of nearly half a billion dollars with six states as well as Washington D.C. The settlement was related to lawsuits claiming that the company had intentionally created an addictive product that they then marketed to minors through targeted sales and unethical business practices.
According to Consumer Affairs, the settlement agreement is “the largest multistate settlement with JUUL and places the most stringent restrictions on its marketing, sales and distribution practices.” The settlement pays out $462 million to California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, and Washington D.C. to settle claims that Juul’s use of young models and fruity flavors targeted sales to underage users, according to CBS News.
In addition to the monetary payments required of JUUL, the settlement also requires the company to undergo a number of changes, including:
- Refraining from any marketing that directly or indirectly targets youth, including using anyone under the age of 35 in promotional material.
- Limiting the number of retail and online sale purchases a single individual can make.
- Performing regular retail compliance checks at stores that sell JUUL’s products for at least four years to ensure youths are not acquiring JUUL products.
- Refraining from providing free or nominally priced JUUL pods as samples to consumers.
- Excluding product placement in almost all media.
- Increasing funding to a document depository by up to $5 million and adding millions of relevant documents uncovered from the investigation to the depository to ensure public access to these documents.
Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell is quoted by Consumer Affairs as saying, “Today’s settlement marks the next chapter in holding JUUL accountable for inciting a youth vaping epidemic that rolled back decades of progress to combat underage tobacco and nicotine use.”
While the settlement does provide nearly half a billion dollars, the money will not go directly to consumers. Instead, the settlement funds will go into state coffers for tobacco research, education and enforcement programs.
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