Juul Labs Inc., the electronic cigarette manufacturer, has agreed to pay $40 million to North Carolina and take actions to prevent use and sales among underage users, according to a landmark legal settlement announced in late June. The settlement comes after years of accusations against the company that its marketing practices added to widespread teen vaping.
In a lawsuit filed by North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, the state accused Juul of employing unfair and deceptive practices that enticed young people to use its vaping products. With this settlement agreement, Juul will avoid a jury trial this summer.
This agreement affects just one of the numerous lawsuits against the company with similar claims that Juul knew, or should have known, that teens were being attracted to and getting hooked on Juul “pods” that contain high levels of nicotine.
Juul continues to deny that it knowingly sold its products to young people. The company admitted to no wrongdoing in the North Carolina settlement.
Several other states have filed lawsuits against Juul. A group of 39 state attorneys general has been investigating the company’s marketing and products since February 2020. Hundreds of personal injury lawsuits from customers and families of underage users who claim they were injured by or became addicted to Juul products have been consolidated in a California federal case, similar to the treatment of opioid cases.
Is Vaping Safe?
The Food and Drug Administration is working toward a September 9 deadline to decide whether the company’s vaping products will be allowed to stay on the market. While some argue that the e-cigarette devices and nicotine pods provide a health benefit as an alternative for smokers who are trying to quit, others blame the devices for creating a new population of nicotine addicts among teens. The FDA declared teen vaping an epidemic in 2018 after e-cigarette use among high school students soared.
Major U.S. health organizations, including the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, have asked the agency to reject Juul’s application to continue selling its products. Scientists and public health officials have expressed serious concern about the potential health effects of e-cigarette use among young people.
The legal age to use vaping products and tobacco in Florida is 21. E-cigarettes are not safe for children, teens, and pregnant women, as well as adults who do not currently use tobacco products, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaping is not an FDA-approved aid to quit smoking cigarettes. Experts advise that the best way to avoid any danger associated with vaping and e-cigarette products is to abstain from using them.
Protecting Florida’s Families
Our team at Panter, Panter & Sampedro is dedicated to protecting the health and safety of the people in our community. We have more than 30 years of experience representing people who suffered severe injuries after using dangerous or defective products. Call our office and set up a free consultation to better understand your rights at (305) 662-6178.
Kaplan (2021, July5). ‘Reset’ mode: Juul fighting to keep its e-cigarettes on US market. Retrieved from: https://orlandosentinel.com/news/nationworld/ct-aud-nw-nyt-juul-ecig-us-market-20210705-d4jhcixfmfb6jij3qzpphrdsuu-story.html
Kaplan (2021, June 28). Juul to Pay $40 Million to Settle N.C. Vaping Case. Retrieved from: https://nytimes.com/2021/06/28/health/juul-vaping-settlement-north-carolina.html
Associated Press (2021, June 28). Juul Will Pay North Carolina $40 Million To Settle A Landmark Suit Over Teen Vaping. Retrieved from: https://npr.org/2021/06/28/1011052173/juul-will-pay-north-carolina-40-million-to-settle-a-landmark-suit-over-teen-vapi