Hawaii Attorney General Clare E. Connors has filed a lawsuit against Juul Labs seeking penalties, damages and injunctive relief for violations of the state’s Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices Law.
The complaint alleges that, for a period of more than five years, the defendants misleadingly marketed Juul e-cigarettes, intending to hook users on the product in the same manner used by tobacco companies in the marketing of cigarettes.
According to the attorney general, the defendants used marketing strategies that targeted teenagers, making Juul products seem desirable, all while falsely understating the nicotine content of the product and its addictiveness.
“In marketing their e-cigarettes to Hawaii’s children, these companies ripped pages directly out of the tobacco company playbook and resurrected Joe Camel for a 21st Century audience,” said Connors. “By misrepresenting nicotine content and by presenting their products as healthy alternatives to cigarettes, they deceived the public and created a new generation of nicotine addicts.”
The state seeks civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation and damages along with an injunction requiring the defendants to halt their deceptive advertising practices and fund mitigation programs, including vaping-cessation programs.