Massachusetts sues Juul over e-cigarette marketing tactics | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Massachusetts sues Juul over e-cigarette marketing tactics

FILE - In this April 16, 2019 file photo, a woman exhales while vaping from a Juul pen e-cigarette in Vancouver, Wash. On Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, Massachusetts sued Juul Labs Inc., accusing the company of deliberating targeting young people through its marketing campaigns. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer, File)
February 12, 2020 - 9:37 AM

BOSTON - Massachusetts sued electronic cigarette giant Juul Labs Inc. on Wednesday, accusing the company of deliberating targeting young people through its marketing campaigns.

Attorney General Maura Healey's office said the nation's biggest e-cigarette maker is responsible for “creating a youth vaping epidemic” with deceptive advertising tactics designed to lure in teen users.

“Our message today is simple: Juul cant profit off the addiction of young people," Healey said.

Healey announced her investigation into Juul in July 2018 and asked the company to turn over documents to determine whether it was tracking underage use of its products and whether its marketing practices were intentionally driving its popularity among young people.

Similar lawsuits against Juul have been filed in states including Pennsylvania, New York and California.

Juul has said it’s committed to combating underage e-cigarette use and has denied ever targeting teenagers.

“While we have not yet reviewed the complaint, we remain focused on resetting the vapour category in the U.S. and earning the trust of society by working co-operatively with attorneys general, regulators, public health officials, and other stakeholders to combat underage use and transition adult smokers from combustible cigarettes,” Austin Finan, a spokesman for Juul, said in an email.

Massachusetts' lawsuit says Juul advertised its products on websites geared toward children and teens and recruited celebrities and social media influencers to promote the products.

Efforts to crack down on teen e-cigarette use ramped up amid a rash of deaths and illnesses linked to some vaping products. Most who got sick said they vaped products containing THC.

As of January, four Massachusetts residents had died of vaping-related illnesses, officials said. The state had reported 36 confirmed cases to federal officials.

Nationally, more than 2,700 cases of vaping illness have been reported by all 50 states. There have been 64 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The U.S. government this month began enforcing restrictions on flavoured e-cigarettes in an effort to curb use among teens. Menthol and tobacco-flavoured e-cigarettes will be allowed to remain on the market.

Juul had already dropped its bestselling mint and most other flavours before the ban was announced in early January and only sells tobacco and menthol.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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