E-cigarette maker Juul agrees to $14.5M settlement…

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PHOENIX – Arizona has reached a $14.5 million settlement with Juul Labs over allegations the digital cigarette maker marketed its merchandise to youngsters and misrepresented their addictive nature, state officers introduced Tuesday.

“Today’s settlement holds Juul accountable for its irresponsible marketing efforts that pushed Arizona minors toward nicotine and the addiction that follows,” state Legal professional Common Mark Brnovich mentioned in a press launch.

Brnovich’s workplace sued Juul in January 2020, alleging that the corporate enticed underaged customers with kid-friendly flavors and misled customers about nicotine ranges in vaping merchandise.

All however $2 million of the settlement, which is pending courtroom approval, will go towards packages to cease youth vaping.

Juul additionally agreed to not have interaction in advertising practices in Arizona that focus on minors, equivalent to utilizing cartoons in advertisements and paying social media influencers to advertise its merchandise.

“This settlement is another step in our ongoing effort to reset our company and we applaud the attorney general’s plan to deploy resources to address underage use,” Juul mentioned in a press release.

“We will continue working with federal and state stakeholders to advance a fully regulated, science-based marketplace for vapor products.”

Brnovich additionally sued one other e-cigarette firm final yr, acquiring a $22.5 million judgment in opposition to Eonsmoke in August 2020.

In June of this yr, Juul agreed to pay $40 million to North Carolina and take extra motion to forestall underage use and gross sales.

Teen use of e-cigarettes skyrocketed greater than 70% after Juul’s launch in 2015, main the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration to declare an “epidemic” of underage vaping amongst youngsters.

Well being specialists mentioned the unprecedented enhance risked hooking a technology of younger folks on nicotine, an addictive chemical that’s dangerous to the creating mind.

Juul has seen gross sales fall after already halting all promoting and social media promotion and pulling most of its flavors aside from menthol.

Teen vaping dropped considerably final yr, in accordance with the federal Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. In a nationwide survey, slightly below 20% of highschool college students mentioned they had been current customers of digital cigarettes and different vaping merchandise, down from about 28% in 2019.

Consultants level to restrictions on flavors together with a brand new federal regulation that raised the age restrict for all tobacco and vaping gross sales to 21.

Anti-vaping advocates welcomed the choice. However they mentioned extra restrictions are wanted to curb teen use, together with banning menthol from Juul and all different e-cigarettes.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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