Speed Reads

No Jewels for Juul

E-cigarette company Juul to pay $462M to settle youth vaping lawsuits

Electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs has agreed to pay $462 million to six states and Washington, D.C., for its alleged role in the surge of youth vaping, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Wednesday. 

The settlement, which was helmed by James and California Attorney General Rob Bonta, will see Juul send payouts to New York, Illinois, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and D.C., which had all filed claims against the company. In addition to the monetary settlement, this agreement "places the most stringent restrictions on Juul's marketing, sales, and distribution practices in order to protect and prevent minors from underage vaping," James said in a press release.

James added that Juul, which manufactures handheld e-cigarettes and vaporizers, helped create a "nationwide public health crisis by putting addictive products in the hands of minors and convincing them that it's harmless." 

James first sued Juul in 2019, alleging, per CNN, that the company was "directly promoting its products to high school students, including in one instance where a Juul representative 'falsely told high school freshmen that its products were safer than cigarettes.'" 

California's lawsuit had for months contended that "Juul did not disclose in its advertising that its devices contained nicotine," The New York Times reported, and that its early marketing efforts had included "handing out free samples of the e-cigarettes in 2015 at trendy events."

Juul said in a statement that Wednesday's agreement "represents another critical part in our ongoing commitment to resolve issues from the company's past," and that since 2019, "underage use of Juul products has declined by 95 percent based on the National Youth Tobacco Survey."

This announcement marks the latest in a continuing string of settlements by Juul for similar practices. In September 2022, the company agreed to pay $440 million following an investigation into its marketing practices by 33 states.