Nov 23, 2021 - Health

Juul reaches $14.5 million settlement in Arizona vaping suit

Photo of a Juul sign in a store

A sign advertising Juul products displayed in a store in New York City. Photo: Stephanie Keith via Getty Images

E-cigarette giant Juul Labs will pay Arizona $14.5 million as part of a settlement for a lawsuit alleging it illegally targeted young people in its marketing.

Why it matters: The company faces over 2,000 lawsuits related to its marketing practices, which included fruit-flavored liquid pods and ad buys on youth websites like Cartoon Network, per Reuters. State and local governments have said it fueled a vaping epidemic among teens.

Details: $12.5 million of the settlement will be allocated to anti-addiction programs, while the remaining $2 million will help cover litigation expenses and go to a general consumer protection fund.

  • Though Juul has admitted no wrongdoing, it called the settlement "another step in our ongoing effort to reset our company."
  • "We will continue working with federal and state stakeholders to advance a fully regulated, science-based marketplace for vapor products."
  • "As part of that process, we will continue to support Tobacco 21 and enforcement against illicit and illegally marketed products, such as certain disposables, that jeopardize the harm reduction potential of alternative vapor products," the company added.

Worth noting: In 2018, over 3.6 million youth in America, including 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students, used e-cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • In 2020, these numbers declined to about 20% of high schoolers and 5%, according to the FDA, which notes: "3.58 million youth currently using e-cigarettes is still far too many."

The big picture: Juul stopped selling popular flavors in its stores and shut down social media channels after facing pressure from regulators in 2018.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with further statistics on youth e-cigarette use.

Go deeper