The Daily Telegraph
Vape maker to pay $438m over claims it targeted youths
VAPE maker Juul is set to pay $438m (£380m) to settle an investigation into the company’s marketing of its products to children.
The once high-flying San Francisco business has reached a settlement with 33 US states and Puerto Rico after claims it marketed addictive e-cigarettes to young customers.
Under the agreement, the company has effectively been prevented from promoting its goods across traditional advertising and social media.
It comes after the US Food and Drug Administration banned Juul’s products on US shelves in June, citing a lack of evidence demonstrating their overall safety. The agency also said that Juul played a “disproportionate role in the rise in youth vaping”.
Juul won a court order temporarily blocking that decision, allowing the company to continue selling for now.
“Juul’s cynically calculated ad campaigns created a new generation of nicotine addicts,” Connecticut’s attorney general William Tong said yesterday.
“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.”
The multistate investigation found Juul became the dominant player in the vaping market by deploying an advertising campaign that appealed to youth. Juul has maintained that it did not target teenagers. Juul said that the settlement was a “significant part of our ongoing commitment to resolve issues from the past”, adding that the terms of the deal were already in alignment with its current business practices.
“We remain focused on the future as we work to fulfil our mission to transition adult smokers away from cigarettes – the number one cause of preventable death – while combating underage use,” the company said. In 2018, Juul became the youngest company to achieve a market value of $10bn (£7bn). However, it and other vape firms have faced a growing backlash in recent years amid concerns about the public health impact.