WASHINGTON – April 12, 2023 – Attorneys General for six states and the District of Columbia today announced a $462 million multi-state settlement to be paid out by JUUL Labs, following an investigation into its underage marketing practices to attract youth to its addictive e-cigarettes. The funds will be distributed to California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico and New York. The e-cigarette maker is part of a larger tobacco industry with a long history of skirting regulation to addict generation after generation to its deadly products.
The following is a statement from American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) CEO Karen E. Knudsen:
“This settlement across 6 states and the District of Columbia is evidence that JUUL intentionally preyed upon youth with the sole goal of addicting a generation that had the potential to be the first tobacco-free generation. According to the CDC, more than 1 in 7 high school students use e-cigarettes as of 2022. JUUL entered the market early, commanding a substantial share of the market, and was largely responsible for the surge in youth e-cigarette use and the growth in the percentage of youth who have become addicted to e-cigarettes—an epidemic which continues to this day.
“ACS CAN congratulates the attorneys general for pursuing action against a company that put profits over public health. The settlement provides even more evidence that these products should not be on the market and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should implement its denial of their marketing orders.
“States must prioritize the settlement money for tobacco control as funding plays a key role in helping to address the lasting impact of the e-cigarette epidemic and ongoing health impact resulting from broad tobacco use. Specifying those dollars for evidence-based tobacco control programs in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Best Practices in all the states will be critical as we’ve seen misappropriation of funds from the Master Settlement Agreement, with states repurposing funds for unrelated purposes, while the impact of decades of tobacco industry lies and deceit persist in so many communities.
“The persistent and ongoing impact of tobacco addiction requires continued and robust efforts to advance evidence-based tobacco control policies, including FDA action to implement marketing denial orders on JUUL products, eliminate all flavors in all tobacco products as well as state and local restrictions on sale of products. While the settlement addresses JUUL’s early and unconscionable influence over youth, proliferation of other products is compounding the ongoing e-cigarette epidemic, not to mention the continued use of combustible tobacco products which remain a leading cause of preventable cancer related death. ACS CAN will continue to advocate for evidence-based tobacco control policies at the federal, state and local levels.”