The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applauded the City of Denver for filing suit against Juul, Altria, and other e-cigarette manufacturers for deceptive advertising and targeting kids.
On April 1, Denver City Attorney Kristin Bronson filed the suit, saying the products could cause COVID-19 to pose a greater risk to young people because of the damage vaping does to pulmonary health.
“As we battle COVID-19, pulmonary health has never been more important. Sadly, scientific studies indicate the disease could pose a greater risk to young people who have been using the defendants’ harmful products. We are more focused than ever on fulsome abatement strategies combating the youth vaping epidemic. The defendants helped cause it, so they can help us pay for it,” Bronson said in a statement.
Colorado has one of the highest youth vaping rates in the country. The suit alleges that vaping companies violated state public-nuisance law by marketing to youth, contributing to a youth vaping epidemic.
“Juul fueled the youth e-cigarette epidemic with its sweet flavors, kid-friendly design and marketing, and massive doses of nicotine. And Altria invested $12.8 billion in Juul, allowing Big Tobacco to share its toxic tactics and massive resources with its new partner,” said Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “With this lawsuit, Denver is delivering an unmistakable message to e-cigarette makers that they will not get away with targeting and addicting our kids.
But, Myers said, the lawsuit should be an indication that Denver and Colorado need to join cities and states ending the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products, including cigars and menthol cigarettes.
“These actions are especially timely because of mounting concerns that smokers and vapers are at higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19. There has never been a better time to take action to prevent and reduce use of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes,” Myers said in a statement.
Research indicates that more than 5.3 million kids across the country use e-cigarettes, including over 25 percent of high schoolers. In Colorado, over 26 percent of high school students use e-cigarettes, fueled most by flavored products.