- Juul agreed to pay North Carolina a $40 million settlement.
- As part of the settlement, Juul will make major changes to how it markets and sells its e-cigarettes.
- The company will no longer use models under 35-years-old on ads and will use mystery shoppers to find scofflaw retailers.
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North Carolina reached a $40 million settlement with e-cigarette maker Juul Labs, the state’s attorney general said Monday.
It’s the first state to successfully settle a lawsuit against Juul. The settlement comes after Juul came under fire for “its role in spiking teen use and dependence on e-cigarettes,” the attorney general’s office said in a press release.
“For years, JUUL targeted young people, including teens, with its highly addictive e-cigarette,” AG Josh Stein said in a press release. “It lit the spark and fanned the flames of a vaping epidemic among our children – one that you can see in any high school in North Carolina.”
A lawsuit against Juul was first filed back in 2019 for “designing, marketing, and selling its e-cigarettes” to be more appealing to teens and misrepresenting nicotine’s harmful effects in its products.
As part of the settlement, Juul has agreed not to use anyone in its marketing videos under 35. Retail stores selling Juul products in North Carolina will also receive monthly checks from secret shoppers.
Juul also agreed to other conditions, according to the settlement agreement, including:
- Avoiding marketing that appeals to people under 21.
- Not advertising near schools or sponsoring sporting events and concerts.
- Ensuring Juul products are sold behind store counters, requiring employee assistance.
- Not making claims about the health effects of Juul use versus that of combustible cigarettes.
- Requiring third-party sellers an independent age verification system.
- Receive FDA authorization for any new flavors or nicotine content levels.
More lawsuits against the e-cigarette company could come in the future. According to CNBC, 39 states have launched investigations against JUUL.
“This win will go a long way in keeping JUUL products out of kids’ hands, keeping its chemical vapor out of their lungs, and keeping its nicotine from poisoning and addicting their brains,” AG Stein said.
A Juul spokesperson told the New York Times: “This settlement is consistent with our ongoing effort to reset our company and its relationship with our stakeholders, as we continue to combat underage usage and advance the opportunity for harm reduction for adult smokers.”