JUUL Settles Major Lawsuit Connected To Its Role In Child Vaping
Juul has to pay out a large sum of money due to its role in perpetuating the teenage vaping epidemic.
Teenage vaping has grown to nearly epidemic levels in recent years. The drastic rise in teens’ love of vaping pens is a cause for serious concern among parents, the medical community, and lawmakers. That is why roughly two years ago, 33 states began a lengthy inquiry into the vaping industry. And their target? Juul Labs – one of the largest manufacturers of electronic cigarettes. That investigation and associated lawsuit just finished with the news that the company settled. And for a large sum of money.
Juul’s marketing and advertising were at the heart of this most recent lawsuit. After their launch in 2015, the national use of e-cigarettes by teens reached what the FDA called “epidemic” levels. The company was known for advertisements targeting youth. And they even incorporated flavors that were tempting to a younger crowd, such as candy and fruit. The high nicotine content in their e-cigarettes resulted in rapid addiction for teens and adults.
Teen vaping was also a problem for schools. Most of them did not have language in their policies dealing with the new issue of e-cigarette use. So, the kids took full advantage. Stories of vaping in the halls between classes were not uncommon. Much of the draw for teens that took up vaping was the nature of Juul’s ads. They painted their e-cigarettes in such an appealing light that the younger crowd couldn’t resist.
After getting national pushback in the news for their targeted ads, the trouble started pouring in for Juul. The result was a decision by the company to cease any advertisements targeting teens. However, the damage was already done, with a large part of the younger generation now fully addicted to nicotine.
The company began facing legal trouble from every side. There are hundreds of independent lawsuits filed against Juul by teens and their parents. On top of that, numerous states have settled with the e-cigarette producer. Some of them include North Carolina, Arizona, Louisiana, and Washington. Nine other state-level lawsuits are currently waiting in the wings. Given the nature of the recent settlement, there is a strong chance all the pending lawsuits will be successful.
Thirty-three states, along with Puerto Rico, were behind the recent suit. News of the settlement is an enormous victory for states and affected families. Per the settlement, Juul will pay out $438.5 million, split between states. But, they have 6-10 years to pay out the total sum. Each state has already decided where those funds will go. And most of the destinations involve educational programs around vaping awareness programs.
However, the critical victory from this lawsuit does not come in a monetary form. The settlement also included strict guidelines Juul must adhere to going forward. For the most part, the states added these stipulations to add additional protective layers against teen vaping.
The deal includes restrictions on where Juul can sell their e-cigarettes, place their billboards, and conduct other advertising. In addition, the company can no longer use marketing tactics that appeal to a younger audience. So, no more social media influencers or cartoon-like ads. Since Juul changed their marketing tactics back in 2019, many of these rules don’t currently apply. But, they will offer protections in the future.