RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – E-cigarette maker Juul has agreed to pay North Carolina $40 million for what the attorney general said was the company’s role in the increase in the number of teens vaping.
Attorney General Josh Stein said North Carolina is the first state to “hold JUUL accountable.”
“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.
Juul will pay the $40 million over six years and those funds will go to help people stop vaping and prevent e-cigarette addiction.
Also as part of the agreement, Juul is banned from marketing towards people under 21. Juul must also stop social media advertising, influencer advertising, outdoor advertising near schools, and sponsoring sporting events and concerts.
A Juul spokesperson offered the following statement:
“This settlement is consistent with our ongoing effort to reset our company and its relationship with our stakeholders, as we continue to combat underage usage and advance the opportunity for harm reduction for adult smokers. Importantly, we look forward to working with Attorney General Stein and other manufacturers on the development of potential industry-wide marketing practices based on science and evidence. In addition, we support the Attorney General’s desire to deploy funds to generate appropriate science to support North Carolina’s public health interventions to reduce underage use.
“We seek to continue to earn trust through action. Over the past two years, for example, we ceased the distribution of our non-tobacco, non-menthol flavored products in advance of FDA guidance and halted all mass market product advertising. This settlement is another step in that direction.”