Juul Labs Inc. has agreed to pay $1.2 billion to resolve an estimated 10,000 lawsuits claiming the company has been a catalyst for the youth-vaping epidemic in the U.S., according to Bloomberg, as the e-cigarette maker continues to face litigation for allegedly marketing its nicotine products to teenagers.
Juul announced Wednesday it had reached settlement agreements with plaintiffs representing the families of Juul users, school districts, city governments and Native American Tribes, according to the Associated Press, though financial terms were not announced until Friday.
The settlement concludes litigation sought by the San Francisco Unified School District, which, among the claims made by other plaintiffs, alleged Juul targeted its students by promoting its nicotine products, as the district noted the agreement will “make a significant difference in the public health fight against youth e-cigarette use.”
The company previously agreed to pay $438.5 million in September following a two-year investigation by officials from 33 states and Puerto Rico over claims Juul had marketed its products to teenagers.
Juul did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.
“These settlements represent a major step toward strengthening Juul Labs’ operations and securing the company’s path forward to fulfill its mission to transition adult smokers away from combustible cigarettes while combating underage use,” Juul said in a statement Wednesday.
$1.3 billion. That’s how much Juul had in revenue for 2021, according to the New York Times. It previously had $2 billion in revenue for 2019.
Massachusetts was the first state to file a lawsuit against Juul in July 2018, alleging the company had illegally advertised and sold nicotine products to minors. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, who led the investigation leading to the September settlement, said in a release the company has “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.” Juul has continued to deny the allegations while noting in its Wednesday statement that the company is “charting a path” toward reducing tobacco use in adults.
Juul Agrees To Pay $1.2 Billion In Youth-Vaping Settlement (Bloomberg)
Juul To Pay $438 Million To Settle Probe Into Underage Marketing Scheme (Forbes)