NEW YORK — New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a nearly $500 million and multi-state settlement with vaping company JUUL Labs Inc.
This is the largest agreement with JUUL, according to the Attorney General's Office.
The settlement is for $460 million and includes New York, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Colorado and Washington D.C.
“JUUL lit a nationwide public health crisis by putting addictive products in the hands of minors and convincing them that it’s harmless — today they are paying the price for the harm they caused,” James said.
“Too many young New Yorkers are struggling to quit vaping and there is no doubt that JUUL played a central role in the nationwide vaping epidemic. Today’s agreement will help young New Yorkers put their vapes down for good and ensure that future generations understand the harms of vaping. I thank my fellow attorneys general for their collaboration on this effort to protect the health and well-being of our communities.”
In 2019, James sued JUUL for deceptive and misleading marketing, which targeted youth and mislead the safety of the product. JUUL claimed its products were safer than cigarettes.
The lawsuit alleged that the company's advertising violated New York’s General Business Laws with false advertising, unreasonable interference with public health, and selling tobacco products to minors.
New York State will receive $112.7 million over eight years. James said the first payment of $14 million is due within 90 days.
The settlement has put restrictions on Juul's marketing, including:
- Refrain from any marketing that directly or indirectly targets teens and young adults, including using anyone under the age of 35.
- Limit the amount of retail and online purchases a person can make.
- Perform regular retail compliance checks at 5% of New York’s retail stores that sell JUUL’s products for at least four years.
- Treat synthetic nicotine as nicotine.
- Don't give out free or nominally priced JUUL pods as samples to consumers.
- No product placement in virtual reality systems.
- Increase funding to a document depository by up to $5 million and add millions of relevant documents to the depository to inform the public on how JUUL created a public health crisis.
“This settlement is an important step in holding JUUL accountable for fueling the youth e-cigarette epidemic with its flavored, nicotine-loaded products and youth-oriented marketing,” said John Bowman, Executive Vice President of U.S. Programs, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
“We applaud Attorney General James for her leadership in shining a spotlight on JUUL’s wrongdoing and forcing the company to change its harmful practices. By requiring the disclosure of previously secret JUUL documents and providing funding for youth vaping prevention programs, this settlement can have a particularly significant impact in protecting the health of our children.”