Washington state files lawsuit against JUUL

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson recently filed a consumer protection lawsuit against e-cigarette company JUUL, claiming the company violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act.

“JUUL put profits before people,” Ferguson said. “Pushing unfair and deceptive marketing strategies appealing to youth, the company fueled a staggering rise in vaping among teens. JUUL’s conduct reversed decades of progress fighting nicotine addiction, and they must be held accountable.”

The lawsuit alleges the company designed and marketed its products to underage consumers and deceived consumers about the addictiveness of its product. This caused a rise in e-cigarette use and nicotine addiction among young people.

The lawsuit also alleges every JUUL device sold between August 2016 until April 2018 was unlawful because the company failed to meet Washington’s tobacco vapor product licensing requirements.

JUUL began selling e-cigarettes in 2015 and had reached more than 70 percent of the market share by the end of 2018. Information in and on packaging did not mention products contained nicotine until 2018.

A total of 63 percent of JUUL users between 15 and 24 years old did not know the products contained nicotine, according to a 2018 survey.

Most e-cigarettes had a concentration of 1 percent to 2 percent nicotine. JUUL’s products contained a 5 percent concentration.

Melina Druga

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