E-cigarette company Juul has agreed to pay more than $438.5 million in a settlement with 34 states and territories over marketing its product to teens.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, a Democrat who led the effort of multiple states and territories, said in a statement that the settlement will send millions of dollars toward nationwide programs aimed at reducing tobacco use.
“Juul’s cynically calculated advertising campaigns created a new generation of nicotine addicts,” Tong said. “They relentlessly marketed vaping products to underage youth, manipulated their chemical composition to be palatable to inexperienced users, employed an inadequate age verification process, and misled consumers about the nicotine content and addictiveness of its products.”
The full extent of the company’s harm has yet to be determined, Tong said.
The settlement requires Juul to refrain from marketing to youths in a number of ways, including advertising in public transit or on billboards, paying influencers or depicting anyone under 35 in advertisements.
Juul said in a statement that the settlement is part of its commitment to resolve its issues from the past.
“The terms of the agreement are aligned with our current business practices which we started to implement after our company-wide reset in the Fall of 2019,” Juul said. “With today’s announcement, we have settled with 37 states and Puerto Rico, and appreciate efforts by Attorneys General to deploy resources to combat underage use.”
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