Juul To Pay $438.5 Million In Underage Marketing Settlement

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Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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Juul Labs, Inc. will pay out $438.5 million to 34 states and territories following an investigation into the company’s marketing tactics targeting underage Americans, several states announced Tuesday.

The two-year investigation found that Juul went out of its way to market its e-cigarette products to children who were not legally permitted to use them. Juul said the nine-figure settlement is “a significant part of our ongoing commitment to resolve issues from the past,” according to CNN.

In addition to the nearly $440 million payment, the settlement will restrict Juul’s marketing to people under age 35 and limit the brand’s online and retail sales and indoor displays.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Juul offered free samples to young people, held launch parties targeted toward youths, used models who appeared to be young in advertising and offered fruity flavors popular with teens. These marketing tactics helped make Juul the most popular vaping brand among young people in America in the late 2010s.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began targeting Juul over its marketing practices in 2018, culminating in an order for the company to cease sales in the U.S. earlier this year. That order was blocked by a federal judge, and the case is now making its way through the court system.

The settlement will be paid out over the course of six to ten years. (RELATED: Swamp Personified: Top FDA Tobacco Official Resigns To Head To Major Cigarette Company)

E-cigarettes were first marketed as a tool to transition longtime smokers and nicotine addicts off of cigarettes. However, many of the teens and young adults vaping were not previously smokers, research shows.

In a statement, Juul said the company plans to “remain focused” on its original goal of reducing cigarette use. Juul also said it expects the FDA to drop its attempt to pull the company’s products off the market after a full and thorough review of the science and evidence.