On September 6, Attorney General of Oregon Ellen Rosenblum revealed a $438.5 million multi-state settlement with Juul Labs.
A two-year, nonpartisan probe into the company’s marketing and sales practices—which, according to officials, “relentlessly” targeted children—led to the settlement.
JUUL has also agreed to abide by stringent injunction provisions that will restrict the company’s marketing and sales tactics in addition to paying hundreds of millions of dollars.
The notification adds that despite the fact that JUUL’s e-cigarettes are dangerous for children and prohibited for them to buy, the company “willfully participated in an advertising strategy that appealed to youth.” “The inquiry revealed that JUUL constantly promoted to underage users with launch parties, ads featuring youthful and fashionable models, social media posts, and free samples,” the report reads.
According to the study, JUUL is promoted to children through Launch parties, youthful, “trendy-looking” models, social media posts, and free samples. Its electronic cigarette devices, according to reports, were “sleek,” “easily concealed,” and featured flavors that kids find appealing. Additionally, it has been claimed that the firm changed the chemical makeup of its goods to make vaping “less unpleasant” for new smokers.
Without FDA certification, JUUL also deceived customers of all ages about the product’s nicotine level and its suitability as a smoking cessation aid, the research found.
The actions that led to this settlement, according to Rosenblum, were abhorrent and exhibit pure corporate avarice at its worst. “JUUL arrived and hooked another generation just as we were beginning to make significant headway in reducing tobacco usage among our young people.
They deliberately used deceptive and slick advertising to target children in an effort to get them addicted to their nicotine products. The cost to society and the negative effects on public health are significant and terrible.
The settlement will pay Oregon $18.8 million, but if JUUL extends its payment schedule, it might pay up to $20.5 million to the state, which co-led the investigation with Connecticut and Texas. The investigation also received assistance from the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The settlement is being finalized by the states and is anticipated to be finished within a month.
In accordance with the agreement, Juul is prohibited from taking part in:
- Youth advertising
- Funding educational initiatives
- Utilizing images of people under 35 in marketing
- Using cartoons
- Product placement for a fee
- Brand-name goods for sale
- FDA has not approved the sale of flavors.
- Website access without age verification on the homepage page
- Unapproved claims on the nicotine by the FDA
- Sponsorships/naming rights that make false claims regarding the amount of nicotine they contain
- Unless 85 percent of the audience is adults, advertising in venues
- Publicity on billboards
- Ads for public transportation
- Social media promotion (other than testimonials by individuals over the age of 35, with no health claims)
- Utilization of paid influencers
- Advertising to consumers directly without age verification
- Free offerings
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