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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

Nov 27, 2021 - Health

Procter & Gamble recalls some Old Spice, Secret products over cancer-causing chemical

Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Procter & Gamble is recalling 18 different Old Spice and Secret aerosol sprays after a cancer-causing chemical was detected in some of the products.

Why it matters: This isn't the first time in 2021 that a benzene-related recall has been issued. Johnson & Johnson recalled spray-on Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreens in July, and in October, Coppertone recalled five of its aerosol sunscreens.

Updated 49 mins ago - World

Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to 4 years in prison

An anti-coup protest in Yangon, Myanmar.Photo: Hkun Lat/Getty Images

A Myanmar court sentenced the country's ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, on Monday to four years in prison on charges of "inciting public unrest" and breaking COVID-19 protocols, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: It's the first of several verdicts that could result in the 76-year-old Nobel laureate being imprisoned for the rest of her life. The 11 charges she faces have been widely criticised as politically motivated.

4 hours ago - World

Pope Francis denounces European governments' migrant response

Pope Francis adresses refugees at the Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) in Mytilene on the island of Lesbos on Sunday. Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis criticized European countries' response to migrants and asylum seekers during his visit to a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos Sunday.

Why it matters: The pope said "migration is a humanitarian crisis that concerns everyone," but little had changed in the global response to displaced peoples since his first visit to Lesbos five years ago, per a transcript of his remarks. "Human lives, real people, are at stake. ... let us stop this shipwreck of civilization!"

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