E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. said Tuesday it agreed to pay more than $400 million to thirty-three states and Puerto Rico to settle claims it targeted children with its products.
Regulators said the investigation showed Juul used advertising that attracted teens to boost its vaping products’ growth.
“The investigation found that Juul relentlessly marketed to underage users with launch parties, advertisements using young and trendy-looking models, social media posts, and free samples even though its e-cigarettes,” according to the statement.
The $438.5 million settlement would compel Juul to adhere to a series of “strict injunctive terms severely limiting their marketing and sales practices,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a Tuesday statement.
Juul agreed not to do any youth marketing, which includes paid product placement, advertising on public transportation, funding education programs, depicting anyone under 35 years old in an advertisement or using cartoons. Juul also will refrain from advertising on billboards.
“We remain focused on the future as we work to fulfill our mission to transition adult smokers away from cigarettes — the number one cause of preventable death — while combating underage use,” the company said.
Juul already settled similar suits with individual states, including Washington and North Carolina.
In June, The Food and Drug Administration ordered Juul to pull its vapes from the market, and the com[pany vowed to litigate the order.
“The action is further progress on the FDA’s commitment to ensuring that all e-cigarette and electronic nicotine-delivery system products currently being marketed to consumers meet our public health standards,” FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf said.
In 2019 the company stopped selling fruity flavors popular among children and agreed to sell only menthol and tobacco flavors. Though the rates have since dropped significantly, in a 2021 federal survey, high school and middle school students who regularly vape named Juul as one of the top brands they use.
This article originally appeared on Fintel
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