E-cigarette maker JUUL has reached another multimillion-dollar settlement to resolve lawsuits aimed at its marketing. This time, the company has agreed to pay $462 million to six states and the District of Columbia.
The multi-state lawsuit charged JUUL sold an addictive product and targeted sales to underage consumers through its marketing and use of fruit flavors.
The agreement is the largest multistate settlement with JUUL and places the most stringent restrictions on its marketing, sales and distribution practices.
“Today’s settlement marks the next chapter in holding JUUL accountable for inciting a youth vaping epidemic that rolled back decades of progress to combat underage tobacco and nicotine use,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell. “This settlement, which includes funds for treatment and prevention and places firm restrictions on youth marketing and sales, will help us combat vaping addiction and continue to protect the health and safety of young people.”
“There is no doubt that JUUL played a central role in the vaping epidemic today,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. “JUUL is paying for widespread harm caused and will undergo severe restrictions on its marketing and sales practices.”
Consumers unlikely to receive compensation
Under the terms of the settlement, it appears unlikely that consumers will share in the payout. Instead, the money will go into state coffers to fund tobacco education projects. For example, California is receiving $175.8 million that its attorney general says will be used for “e-cigarette research, education and enforcement.”
In addition to monetary payment, the settlement requires JUUL to:
Refrain from any marketing that directly or indirectly targets youth, including using anyone under the age of 35 in promotional material
Limit the number of retail and online sale purchases an individual can make
Perform regular retail compliance checks at stores that sell JUUL’s products for at least four years
Refrain from providing free or nominally priced JUUL pods as samples to consumers
Exclude product placement in almost all media, and
Increase funding to a document depository by up to $5 million and add millions of relevant documents uncovered from the investigation to the depository to ensure public access to these documents.
In late March, JUUL agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit for $255 million, with payments going to consumers who purchased and used JUUL products prior to December 7, 2022. As yet, there is no estimate for payment amounts.