Attorney General Keith Ellison, on behalf of the state of Minnesota, has struck a $60 million deal with Juul Labs and the Altria Group to address the companies’ roles in fueling the state’s youth vaping spike. The agreement came just before closing arguments were set to commence in the first trial meant to settle the issues, according to Law360.
This deal comes on the heels of a $230 million settlement between Altria and San Francisco public schools.
Minnesota leveled a series of legal claims against Juul Labs and Altria, including violation of the Minnesota Consumer Fraud Act, the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the Unlawful Trade Practices Act, and the False Statement in Advertisement Act. The state believes that these violations led to consequences that Juul and Altria are liable for, including the creation of a public nuisance, negligence, unjust enrichment, and civil conspiracy.
The 56-page consent decree includes a number of provisions for each company in addition to monetary penalties. The provisions governing Juul Labs are far more extensive than the Altria provisions.
Juul Labs has provisions that govern youth targeting and sales, nicotine content, naming rights, sponsorship, advertising, marketing, samples, sales, distribution, and retail compliance. Some notable requirements include a prohibition on “any action, directly or indirectly, that targets Youth within Minnesota in the Promotion of JUUL Products, or take any action a purpose of which is to initiate, maintain, or increase the incidence of Youth use of any JUUL Product within Minnesota.”
Additionally, Juul cannot fund or operate anti-vaping education campaigns, portray anyone under the age of 35 in its Minnesota advertisements, use cartoons to promote Juul products or pay for any product placement in media. This even extends to prohibiting the use of social media influencers to grow the Juul brand.
Altria must take “appropriate and reasonable measures” to ensure that all its electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are being used by its intended audience and restrict the marketing and advertisement of its ENDS to adult users while preventing the marketing or sale of its product to underage consumers.
If you or a loved one have been injured by an e-cigarette product, you may be eligible for financial compensation. File a free case review to have your circumstances vetted by an experienced expert to help you pursue justice.