CT to receive at least $16.2 million in multistate settlement with Juul Labs
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Connecticut was among 34 states that agreed to a historic settlement with electronic cigarette company Juul Labs.
Attorney General William Tong announced on Tuesday that the state will receive a minimum of $16.2 million.
Tong said Juul Labs agreed to a $438.5 million settlement with the states and territories.
The agreement came after more than two-year investigation into Juul’s marketing and sales practices, the attorney general said.
“In addition to the financial terms, the settlement would force JUUL to comply with a series of strict injunctive terms severely limiting their marketing and sales practices,” the attorney general’s office said.
Tong said Connecticut led the investigation, along with Texas and Oregon.
“When finalized, Connecticut’s settlement documents will indicate that it is the intention of settling parties that the money be used for cessation, prevention and mitigation,” Tong said.
Officials said the $438.5 million would be paid out over 6 to 10 years.
“JUUL’s cynically calculated advertising campaigns created a new generation of nicotine addicts. They relentlessly marketed vaping products to underage youth, manipulated their chemical composition to be palatable to inexperienced users, employed an inadequate age verification process, and misled consumers about the nicotine content and addictiveness of its products,” Tong said.
“It will hopefully allow for the public to understand how dangerous these products can be,” said Karl Minges, chair of the health administration at the University of New Haven. “They comprise ultrafine particles that are inhaled deep into the lungs.”
Minges told Channel 3 that he thought the settlement would make an impact; however, he called it only a step in the fight to keep kids from vaping.
“What concerns me honestly about this ruling is that it was targeted specifically to Juul, but all of the recent data is showing that Juul is the fourth most popular e-cigarette product for children and for youth,” he said. “So, it’s not only Juul’s fault.”
Experts estimate that as many as 20 percent of high school students use e-cigs.
Tong still called the settlement a game changer.
“Billboards are gone,” he said. “That’s a big deal for us. Public transportation advertising, social media advertising and then use of paid influencers. They can’t do that anymore.”
The attorney general’s office listed what Juul agreed to refrain from as part of the settlement:
- Youth marketing
- Funding education programs
- Depicting persons under age 35 in any marketing
- Use of cartoons
- Paid product placement
- Sale of brand name merchandise
- Sale of flavors not approved by FDA
- Allowing access to websites without age verification on landing page
- Representations about nicotine not approved by FDA
- Misleading representations about nicotine content
- Sponsorships/naming rights
- Advertising in outlets unless 85 percent audience is adult
- Advertising on billboards
- Public transportation advertising
- Social media advertising (other than testimonials by individuals over the age of 35, with no health claims)
- Use of paid influencers
- Direct-to-consumer ads unless age-verified, and
- Free samples.
For more information on the settlement, click here.
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