PHOENIX — Juul Labs Inc. settled with another state over claims that it marketed its vaping products to underage users.
On Nov. 23, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced the state reached a $14.5-million settlement with the vapor company. In addition to the financial settlement, Juul agreed to make changes to corporate practices to ensure its products are not marketed or sold to youth in Arizona.
Of the $14.5 million, the state will use $12.5 million for programs to stop youth vaping.
"Today's settlement holds Juul accountable for its irresponsible marketing efforts that pushed Arizona minors toward nicotine and the addiction that follows," Brnovich said. "Combatting the youth vaping epidemic remains a priority for our office with both our undercover Counter Strike program and zero tolerance for vaping companies that mislead or deceive."
In July, North Carolina became the first state to reach a settlement with Juul over concerns that its product attracts underage users.
Under a consent order reached with State Attorney General Josh Stein, Juul agreed to pay $40 million and make changes to the way it conducts business. The $40 million, which Juul will pay to the state over the next six years, will fund programs to help people quit e-cigarettes, prevent e-cigarette addiction, and research e-cigarettes.
The Arizona attorney general's office filed a lawsuit against Juul in January 2020 for engaging in deceptive and unfair acts and practices. It alleged Juul marketed its products to appeal to and target young people while misleading them on the risks associated with those products.
The state also alleged the company failed to implement appropriate protective measures to ensure its products were not sold to underage consumers. It also alleged that Juul misled all consumers regarding its products' true nicotine concentration.
As part of the settlement, pending court approval, Juul has committed to company-wide changes to its business practices to ensure that its products will not be marketed or sold to Arizona's youth, including:
- No marketing that appeals to or targets individuals under the age of 21, including the use of cartoons in advertising, and no advertising near schools.
- No publishing, marketing, or advertising material for Juul Products on any social media platform, no engaging or paying social media influencers, and no use of persons under age 30 in its advertising.
- No Juul-sponsored events where persons under 21 will be present.
- No selling to Arizonans under 21 years of age and to use an independent age-verification system to verify online sales.
- No displaying Juul products at retail locations other than behind the counter or in a secured display case.
- No selling flavored products without Food and Drug Administration approval.
- Ensuring retail stores in Arizona that carry and sell Juul products adopt age-verification compliance systems, including a penalty system for retailers that fail age-verification compliance checks.
- Permitting Arizona residents to report, through a "track-and-trace" program on its website, the serial number of any Juul device confiscated from an Arizona resident who is under 21 years of age.
- Providing additional and transparent disclosure of Juul's nicotine content.