Colorado to receive $31.7 million from nationwide settlement with e-cigarette manufacturer Juul
April 12, 2023 (DENVER) – Attorney General Phil Weiser announced today that his office secured a $462 million multistate settlement with Juul Labs, Inc, of which Colorado will receive $31.7 million.
Colorado sued Juul in 2020 after its investigation determined the company was targeting young people in their marketing and misrepresenting the health risks posed by their products. The investigation found that Juul targeted “cool kids” in their ads and social media campaigns, including using brand ambassadors to give free samples to young people at Colorado convenience stores and hiring social media influencers to promote their products with the goal of introducing e-cigarettes to younger Coloradans. Under the agreement announced today, Juul will be prohibited from using those marketing tactics in the future.
“This settlement is a victory for the state of Colorado and everyone who fell victim to Juul’s reckless, deceptive, and unconscionable marketing tactics,” Weiser said. “While no amount of money or new restrictions on Juul’s business practices can undo the harms caused by the teen vaping epidemic, this settlement will make great strides towards reducing it and can support young people who are hurting now more than ever.”
Colorado is regularly near the top of the list of states with the biggest teen vaping issues. When Colorado filed this lawsuit, Colorado was the #1 state per capita for teen vaping. According to the most recent state data from 2021, 16% of Colorado teens reported they had vaped in the past month.
In addition to the monetary settlement, the agreement also comes with new requirements that restrict how Juul can advertise to Coloradans. This includes forbidding the company’s use of certain promotional tactics and materials, sales and distribution restrictions, and other limitations of their business practices. To ensure the company complies with this agreement, Juul will be required to hire a compliance officer who will oversee the implementation of this agreement. The company will also provide the public with regular opportunities to review documentation of their compliance with the agreement. Millions of Juul’s internal documents will also be disclosed through a public document depository.
The settlement funds will be used for reimbursement of the state’s actual costs and attorneys’ fees and other consumer-welfare purposes, including funding additional measures to prevent youth tobacco use and address the harms from underage vaping.
Colorado’s settlement was part of a coordinated effort with other attorneys general that sued Juul, including California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and New York. Late last year, 34 states decided not to take legal action against the company and entered into a $438 million settlement agreement with Juul.
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