JUUL to pay Washington state $22.5 million over unlawful advertising directed toward kids
Electronic cigarette company JUUL will pay the state of Washington $22.5 million over a lawsuit against the company’s advertising practices, especially pertaining to children, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Wednesday.
The lawsuit asserts that JUUL violated the law when it designed and marketed products to appeal to underage consumers, and deceived consumers about the addictiveness of its products.
“JUUL put profits before people,” Ferguson wrote in a news release. “The company fueled a staggering rise in vaping among teens. JUUL’s conduct reversed decades of progress fighting nicotine addiction, and today’s order compels JUUL to surrender tens of millions of dollars in profit and clean up its act by implementing a slate of corporate reforms that will keep JUUL products out of the hands of underage Washingtonians.”
A number of conditions are tied to the lawsuit under a consent decree. JUUL must:
- Stop the advertisement that appeals to youth
- Stop most social media promotion
- Accurately market the effect of nicotine in its products
- Confirm the age of consumers with “the strictest secret shopper program in the company’s history”