Electronic cigarette giant Juul Labs Inc. will pay $40 million to North Carolina and take more action to prevent underage use and sales, according to a landmark legal settlement announced Monday.
This decision comes after years of accusations that the company had fueled an explosion in teen vaping. The lawsuit, originally filed in May of 2019, alleged that Juul unlawfully marketed and sold its products, including sleek vaping devices and sweet and fruit-flavored pods, to children. As part of the agreement, Juul will not advertise to anyone under 21 in North Carolina, including through social media, and will limit sales amounts of Juul products online to any state residents.
It will also sell its products only behind counters at retailers that have ID scanners to ensure customers are of age. Its efforts included shutting down Instagram and Facebook pages promoting its vape products, the firm said. Anti-smoking advocates, however, have called for stronger actions.
Matt Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told CBS MoneyWatch that the settlement marks “a step in the right direction,” but said that Juul continues to reach young people across the nation. He urged the Food and Drug Administration to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and high-nicotine products. “Unless, and until, the FDA does act, we won’t solve the problem,” he said. The settlement money will go toward youth affected by e-cigarettes, and will be paid over six years.
ARTICLE: JENNIFER BARRETO-LEYVA
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NPR
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