Juul Labs agreed to pay nearly $440 million as part of a settlement with 34 states and territories.
The investigation found that Juul deliberately marketed its products to young people, even though e-cigarette sales to children are illegal.
"Through this settlement, we have secured hundreds of millions of dollars to help reduce nicotine use and forced Juul to accept a series of strict injunctive terms to end youth marketing and crack down on underage sales," Tong said in a press release.
The settlement puts restrictions on Juul's marketing practices going forward: the company said it won’t fund education programs, including people under 35 in marketing, sell merchandise, or give out free samples.
Juul said in its statement — a future it says is focused on transitioning adult smokers to vaping and away from traditional cigarettes
Juul is also still facing other lawsuits from multiple other states and from users who say they were harmed by the company’s products.
Introduced in 2015, Juul skyrocketed in popularity among youth across the United States, leading to what public health officials have called a youth e-cigarette “epidemic.”
From 2017 to 2019, e-cigarette use among high school students rose by 135 percent. In 2019, more than 5.3 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes – an alarming increase of nearly 3.2 million students in two years.
Among current tobacco product users, flavored tobacco use was 72.8% among high schoolers and 59.6% among middle schoolers.
Nearly 30% of the students perceived little to no harm from intermittent use of e-cigarettes, and more than 16% saw little to no harm in using hookahs.
Juul went on the retreat after it drew regulatory scrutiny in 2018 and took all flavors other than tobacco and menthol off the market in 2019. Its popularity gradually declined; now, teens are more interested in disposable e-cigarettes, which still have flavors.
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