• May 21, 2024

Juul Labs Settles with West Virginia

 Juul Labs Settles with West Virginia

Image: Roman Motizov | Adobe Stock

Image: Roman Motizov | Adobe Stock

West Virginia has reached a settlement agreement with e-cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs in litigation about the company’s advertising and marketing practices, according to state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Juul Labs has agreed to pay the state $7.9 million, based on accusations that the company violated West Virginia’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act, according to media reports.

The company was accused of “engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the manufacturing, designing, selling, marketing, promoting and distributing of e-cigarettes” in the state, especially promotions targeting underage users, according to Morrisey.

“This settlement puts companies like Juul in check to not copy Big Tobacco’s playbook and gear marketing strategies toward underage people,” he said. “In Juul’s case, we have alleged it has deceived consumers about its nicotine strength, misrepresented the nicotine equivalency of its products to traditional cigarettes and understated the risks of addiction that occur with such powerful levels of nicotine.”

The settlement represents “yet another step in Juul Labs’ ongoing commitment to resolve issues from the company’s past,” said Austin Finan, vice president of corporate communications at Juul Labs.

“The terms of the agreement, like prior settlements, provide financial resources to further combat underage use and develop cessation programs, and they reflect our current business practices, which were implemented as part of our company-wide reset in the fall of 2019,” Finan said. “With West Virginia having the highest cigarette smoking rate in the U.S., we hope that some funds will go directly to interventions to reduce the use of combustible cigarettes and improve public health in the state.”

Juul has now settled with “40 states and territories, providing hundreds of millions of dollars to the participating states,” according to Finan.