Smoking is an issue that some teenagers seem to have but vaping in teens is much more common than people think. Juul is a mechanical cigarette company that is being blamed for the ongoing problem of teen vaping. The company has agreed to pay $440 million in an investigation that will last two years in over 30 states. The marketing of nicotine and vaping products have been surging which has caused greater issues with teen smoking and is the reason for this investigation.
General William Tong a Connecticut attorney, announced the situation on Tuesday on behalf of all the states participating as well as Puerto Rico. They joined in 2020 as a more effective way to probe Juul promotions, claims, and information about the company’s advanced technology for smoking products.
The settlement that Juul has agreed to pay includes all types of lawsuits from numerous states. One of the lawsuits is about the way the company advertises its products. Juul also has hundreds of personal lawsuits from their teen customers who say that they have become addicted and blame the company for making their products too accessible for younger people.
The investigation from states has found that Juul advertised its products with launch parties that included young teens. They have also marketed their e-cigarettes using young people as their models which has not helped the reputation that the company has hoped to build.
Tong has said that these investigations will not fully fix the problem but have contributed to a lot of change. He says that they have taken a big chunk out of what used to be a huge market leader since 2020. He hopes to continue the fight against vaping to better ensure a safe life for young teens.
The settlement announced on Tuesday will have a long-term effect rather than an immediate effect on the company.
After the company was under scrutiny they used parties, giveaways, and many other types of promotions to distribute their products more effectively. Juul makes up a third of the U.S. retail for vaping products but it has gone down from 75% many years ago.
When Juul has first introduced in June of 2015 the use of vaping products surged immediately. The FDA described the problem as an “epidemic” for young people who endure such activities.
In 2019 the company was forced to stray away from advertising and even selling its products in some stores due to controversy. The situation got even worse for Juul when the FDA decided to ban Juul e-cigarettes from the market. The company was forced to fight back against these regulations which caused the FDA to reopen its review of the company’s technology. This review was done to regulate the company as much as it could. The agencies have recommended trying Juul’s competitor’s products for adult smokers because they are a less harmful alternative.
Since the advertisement to young smokers caused a lot of problems Juul has since based their marketing on adults more exclusively to avoid any further lawsuits and controversy.
The company stated that they are focused on the future and plan to take extra precautions to fight the ongoing battle against teen smoking. Tong has stated that the mandates are incredibly tough and important because protecting the youth is one of the most important worries that they need to address.
Data suggest that around 40% of teens decreased their use of vapes. The pandemic is one reason the numbers dropped as well because these products were not available at the time. The data was said to be treated with much more caution because the surveys were conducted online at home instead of school — how it usually is done.
Written by Esteban Ruiz
AP News: Juul to pay nearly $440M to settle states’ teen vaping probe
NPR: Juul will pay nearly $440 million to settle states’ investigation into teen vaping
CNET: Juul Will Pay States Close to $440 Million in Vaping Settlement
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Inset Image Courtesy of Flickr James Walpole Page – Creative Commons License