SAN FRANCISCO — Juul Labs Inc. reached another major settlement resolving numerous lawsuits over the way the company marketed its products, allegedly targeting minors who were too young to smoke.
The e-cigarette manufacturer will pay $462 million to New York, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Washington, D.C.
Similar to other settlements, San Francisco-based Juul now faces restrictions on the marketing and distribution of its products, reported The Associated Press. The company is barred from any direct or indirect marketing targeting youth, which includes anyone under age 35. Juul will also limit how many purchases customers can make in retail locations and online.
"Juul lit a nationwide public health crisis by putting addictive products in the hands of minors and convincing them that it's harmless," said New York Attorney General Letitia James. "Today they are paying the price for the harm they caused."
District of Columbia Attorney General Brian Schwalb stated that Juul "knew how addictive and dangerous its products were and actively tried to cover up that medical truth."
Juul previously settled federal multidistrict litigation for approximately $1.2 billion in late 2022, resolving thousands of cases that were consolidated in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, as Convenience Store News previously reported.
Juul called the latest settlement "another critical part in our ongoing commitment to resolve issues from the company's past," noting that terms of the agreement provide financial resources to further combat underage use and develop cessation programs. They also reflect Juul's current business practices, which were implemented as part of its company-wide reset in the fall of 2019. Since that time, underage use of Juul products has declined by 95 percent, according to the company.
"With this settlement, we are nearing total resolution of the company's historical legal challenges and securing certainty for our future," Juul stated.
Despite the settlement, Juul continues to face legal challenges. On March 27, opening statements began in the state of Minnesota's lawsuit against the e-cigarette manufacturer. The suit accuses Juul of using its products to unlawfully target young people and get a new generation addicted to nicotine, in the process violating Minnesota's consumer-protection laws, breaching its duty of reasonable care and creating a public nuisance. It is the first case to reach trial rather than reach a settlement.