Inbox: Mass Attorney General Secures $41M In JUUL Settlement

“AG Campbell’s office holds JUUL accountable for company’s role in nationwide youth vaping epidemic”

Don’t worry, this isn’t cannabis related. Not unless you consider how weed vape giant Pax shared a parent company with JUUL up until 2017. But again, this is a nicotine and tobacco story … 

Yesterday, per the AG’s office, “Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell today joined attorneys general from across the country to announce a $462 million multistate settlement, including $41 million for Massachusetts, with JUUL Labs Inc. (JUUL) for their role in contributing to the youth vaping epidemic nationwide. … The agreement is the largest multistate settlement with JUUL and places the most stringent restrictions on JUUL’s marketing, sales and distribution practices in order to protect and prevent minors from underage smoking.”

“Today’s settlement marks the next chapter in holding JUUL accountable for inciting a youth vaping epidemic that rolled back decades of progress to combat underage tobacco and nicotine use,” Campbell said in a statement. “This settlement, which includes funds for treatment and prevention and places firm restrictions on youth marketing and sales, will help us combat vaping addiction and continue to protect the health and safety of young people.”

JUUL is “required to make its first payment to Massachusetts this year, followed by seven more annual payments.” Plus all this: 

  • Refrain from any marketing that directly or indirectly targets youth, including using anyone under the age of 35 in promotional material,

  • Limit the number of retail and online sale purchases an individual can make,

  • Perform regular retail compliance checks at stores that sell JUUL’s products for at least four years,

  • Refrain from providing free or nominally priced JUUL pods as samples to consumers,

  • Exclude product placement in almost all media, and

  • Increase funding to a document depository by up to $5 million and add millions of relevant documents uncovered from the investigation to the depository to ensure public access to these documents.

More from the AG below:

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office was the first office to announce an investigation into JUUL in July 2018. As a result of its findings, the AG’s Office sued JUUL in 2020 for intentionally marketing and selling its e-cigarettes to young people.

The lawsuit revealed new facts that had not previously been made public about JUUL’s youth-oriented advertising campaign in 2015, including advertising on websites used by children and teenagers, recruiting young celebrities to build brand awareness and knowingly advertising to and shipping e-cigarettes to underage consumers.

It’s all seemingly good news—almost good enough to forget that Mass has a whole new prohibition on its hands as the result of a related ban on flavored vapes.