The North Carolina attorney general announced that Juul has agreed to pay $40 million to end claims that the e-cigarette company aggressively marketed its products to youths and spurred a wave of teen vaping addiction, in the first such state settlement.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said that the consent order with Juul Labs Inc. bars the company from using marketing that appeals to people under the age of 21, advertising on social media, advertising outdoors near schools and sponsoring sporting events and concerts. It’s also barred from making claims that compare the health effects of using Juul e-cigarettes to smoking traditional combustible cigarettes in its ads.
Juul did not admit liability or wrongdoing in the consent order.
The North Carolina attorney general filed suit against Juul in 2019, as lawsuits against the company were piling up after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the year before declared that teenage use of e-cigarettes was an “epidemic.”
Juul is currently seeking approval from the FDA to allow its tobacco and menthol flavored vape products to remain on the market.
At least a dozen state attorneys general have filed suit against Juul. North Carolina was the first state to sue Juul over its alleged marketing to minors.
Many of the documents from the North Carolina suit will be made public by July 2022 and stored in a depository kept by a state public university.
The $40 million settlement will be paid to the state over the next six years and will fund programs for quitting e-cigarettes and preventing addiction to e-cigarettes.
Juul is also facing multidistrict litigation brought by school districts, Native American tribes and municipal governments claiming that it purposefully marketed to youths in California federal court.