08:54 GMT25 July 2021
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    Juul announced in November 2019 that it would be halting US sales of its mint-flavored electronic cigarettes - its most popular flavor - after government research showed American minors preferred Juul e-cigarettes, as well as their mint-flavored pods. The move predated the Trump administration's January 2020 ban on flavored e-cigarettes and pods.

    North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein (D) announced on Monday that the Tar Heel State reached an agreement on a consent order with Juul Labs, Inc., the e-cigarette company accused of targeting teens - including minors - with its marketing. 

    Per the agreement, Juul is set to pay $40 million to the state over the next six years. The payments will be designated to programs that support e-cigarette research, use prevention and rehabilitation. 

    "For years, JUUL targeted young people, including teens, with its highly addictive e-cigarette. It lit the spark and fanned the flames of a vaping epidemic among our children – one that you can see in any high school in North Carolina," Stein said in a quoted statement, vowing to prevent Tar Heel teens from becoming "another generation" addicted to the chemical nicotine. 

    The company has agreed to nix social media and influencer-based advertising.

    Juul also committed to not market its products to appeal "to people under the age of 21." It's unclear what such marketing would entail. 

    From Monday, the e-cigarette company has 30 days to issue the state of North Carolina an initial $13 million payment, according to the agreement. 

    An electronic cigarette manufactured by Juul Labs, Inc.
    An electronic cigarette manufactured by Juul Labs, Inc.

    North Carolina became the first US state to sue Juul back in May 2019, following a monthslong investigation that began in 2018. Documents from the case are slated to be made public by July 1, 2022. 

    Juul, once a behemoth in the e-cigarette and vaping market, has taken a nosedive since Big Tobacco giant Altria purchased 35% of the company for 12.8 billion back in December 2018. Recent reports have valued Altria's shares around a low $1.6 billion.   

    Within the next year, the company replaced Chief Executive Officer Kevin Burns with Kevin 'K.C.' Crosthwaite, a former Altria executive, and announced it would stop sales of its popular, fruit-flavored e-cig pods. Crosthwaite said that the move came as a cooperative move with regulators, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

    The FDA has since issued a wide-sweeping ban to block the manufacturing, distributing and selling of flavored e-cigarettes and pods.

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    Tags:
    marketing policy, North Carolina, lawsuit, Trump administration, FDA, US Food and Drug Administration, eletronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes
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