PHOENIX — Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a settlement with e-cigarette maker JUUL on Tuesday after suing the company last year for perpetuating the scourge of teen vaping.
As part of the agreement, Juul Labs, Inc. will pay $14.5 million to the state and make changes to its corporate practices. Most of that money will go towards youth programs to stop youth vaping, said Brnovich in a written statement.
Deceptive Acts and Practices
“Today’s settlement holds JUUL accountable for its irresponsible marketing efforts that pushed Arizona minors toward nicotine and addiction that follows,” Brnovich said in the statement.
The lawsuit accused JUUL of engaging in deceptive and unfair acts and practices. It cited evidence showing JUUL marketed its products to young people and misled consumers regarding its products’ actual nicotine concentration.
Arizona is one of several states that sued JUUL for its business practices. According to the New York Times, the first state to settle with JUUL was North Carolina in June.
The company has publicly stated it is working with “all stakeholders” to combat underage usage. A JUUL spokesperson says the company looks forward to working with law enforcement and they seek to “continue earning trust through action.”
Stores Continue Selling to Minors
Teen vaping remains a major concern for health experts nationwide. As 12 News has previously reported, companies like JUUL are not solely to blame. Undercover sting operations by the Attorney General’s Office penalize hundreds of store clerks annually for knowingly selling tobacco and vape products to minors.
In 2019 alone, 457 retailers were caught selling to minors, representing 16% of retailers inspected.
During the pandemic, the Attorney General’s Office ceased performing undercover inspections but resumed them in 2021. The inspections have yielded 48 criminal citations to clerks and businesses across Arizona who sold tobacco products to undercover youth volunteers.
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