Juul settles lawsuit with West Virginia for $7.9 million
The state had accused Juul of targeting children with its marketing and contributing to a public health crisis of youth vaping.The settlement includes $7.5 million in civil penalties and $400,000 for the state's legal fees, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a news release.West Virginia has
CNN New York --
The West Virginia attorney general announced Monday that a settlement was reached with Juul Labs, an e-cigarette manufacturer, for $7.9 million.
The company was accused in advertising and marketing Juul products in the state. This specifically targeted teenagers.
Juul was accused of targeting these underage users via social media, influencer advertising and fashion bloggers.
"This settlement places Juul in control to not copy big tobacco’s playbook and gear market strategies towards underage people," Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia Attorney General, said.
Morrisey stated that the court had accused Juul of 'deceiving consumers about its nicotine strength and misrepresented its nicotine equivalency to traditional cigarettes, as well as understating the addiction risks associated with high levels of nicotine.
Juul was charged with violating the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act.
According to the AG, 14.3% of West Virginia high-schoolers have used e-cigarettes at minimum once in the last 30 days. This is higher than the national average 13.2%.
Juul Labs announced that it had settled over 5,000 lawsuits brought by around 10,000 plaintiffs in the US. This resolved a significant amount of legal issues.
Although the company stated that the cases involved personal injury, consumer class action or from a government entity, the settlement amount was not disclosed.
This announcement came after Juul announced that it would pay $438.5million to 34 states and territory following a two-year investigation of its marketing and sales practices. Juul was also charged in West Virginia with intentionally marketing its products to youth.
Juul used to be a top seller in America, particularly the flavored vapes. The company discontinued these products in 2019.
The FDA banned Juul products from the US market last summer. Products are still available in the United States after a court temporarily blocked the FDA ban.