Juul to pay $438 mln in teen vaping probe
Juul Labs will pay $438.5 million to settle a probe by 34 US states that found the vaping company marketed to underage smokers, state officials have announced.
Under the agreement, which is still being finalized, Juul would provide payments over the next 6-10 years to individual U.S. states and pledge to not employ cartoons in ads or otherwise market to younger consumers.
The probe was led two years ago by state officials in Connecticut, Oregon and Texas and joined by other states.
The investigation "revealed that Juul wilfully engaged in an advertising campaign that appealed to youth, even though its e-cigarettes are both illegal for them to purchase and unhealthy for children," according to a press release from the Oregon Department of Justice.
Juul "relentlessly marketed to underage users with launch parties, advertisements using young and trendy-looking models, social media posts and free samples," the press release said.
Juul has been blamed for a surge in youth vaping over its marketing of fruit and candy flavored e-cigarettes, which it stopped selling in 2019.
More than two million American middle and high schoolers reported they were vapers in 2021, with eight in ten using flavored e-cigarettes, according to a September 2021 government report.
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