Final Multi-State JUUL Settlement
Statement from Parents Against Vaping
April 12, 2023
We are grateful for today’s $462 million dollar multi-state settlement that finally holds JUUL accountable for marketing its high-nicotine and flavored e-cigarettes to young people, creating the youth vaping epidemic that has harmed millions of families across the country.
The timing is particularly meaningful–it is almost five years to the day since we discovered that a JUUL representative entered our then teen-age sons’ New York City high school through an outside anti-addiction group, and, without the school’s knowledge, told an assembly of 9th-graders that JUUL was “totally safe”. This led three moms around a kitchen table to found Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes, a grassroots movement that has become the first national parent voice in the fight against the tobacco industry’s targeting of kids.
Now, thanks to the tireless efforts of State Attorneys General including Letitia James of New York and former Massachusetts AG and current Governor Maura Healey (and her successor Andrea Joy Campbell) and their remarkable teams, we have an even greater understanding of JUUL’s duplicity as it knowingly used young-looking models, social media influencers and children’s websites and networks to methodically promote its products to minors.
We are particularly pleased that today’s settlement requires that discovery documents detailing JUUL”s nefarious actions will be made public in a timely fashion and housed in an academic archive. As we know from the impact of the tobacco industry documents made public following the Tobacco Masters’ Settlement Agreement in 1998, these documents are essential to future research and the protection of public health; we must ensure that JUUL’s behavior can not be repeated in the future. (The only other state settlement to include public release of JUUL documents is North Carolina, though the July 1, 2022 deadline in that settlement has been repeatedly delayed, reportedly by JUUL.)
However, while are encouraged by today’s important announcement, we know that there is so much more work to be done to protect America’s kids from becoming an entire generation of nicotine addicts and the tobacco industry’s next lifetime customers. By enormously profiting from peddling a market-disrupting tobacco product to kids, JUUL and its ruthless investors spawned thousands of bad actors who have followed their example. Companies including Puff Bar, Elf Bar, Air Bar, Myle, and many others continue to target children with flavored products that continue to evade regulation and exploit loopholes, greatly benefiting from the lack of enforcement.
This settlement alone cannot solve the ongoing adolescent public-health crisis of youth vaping with more than 2.5 million teens using these products on a regular basis. High nicotine content flavored e-cigarettes remain highly addictive and harmful, threatening the health and well-being of our children. We need to do much more to address the root causes of youth vaping, such as aggressive marketing and easy availability; FDA’s continuing delays of its regulatory process; and the need for effective prevention and cessation programs. FDA must step up and do its job.
We continue hearing from parents every day whose kids are addicted to vaping any of the dozens of products that have followed JUUL’s example and sell high nicotine containing products in fun and fruity flavors. Today, in settling this lawsuit, Juul has answered for its crimes. However, there is still lots of work to be done – the large settlement will go to treating those kids, many now adults, who remain extremely addicted, and educating parents about the dangers of these products in order to prevent more young people from becoming addicted to these products.
We stand with these families across the country who have been impacted by JUUL and its copycats, and we will continue to fight for a future where all children can grow up healthy and free from the harms of e-cigarettes. We hope that the states will police JUUL rather than allow JUUL to police itself.
PAVe will continue to monitor JUUL’s actions and hold the company accountable for its promises.
We thank you for your assistance and ask you to help us continue the fight!
– The Pave Team